Saturday, April 6, 2013

Thankfulness...

So many thoughts run through my mind at the moment, yet one has remained constant... Do not dwell on what is to be, and BE THANKFUL!
It's so easy to run with the pace of the world and get wrapped up in the "What's next...stage" Where will I go to college, What will my major be, When will I graduate, Where will I work, Where will I live, When will I get married, When will we have kids... and the list goes on!
Yes, they are valid questions; Nevertheless, they cause us to shift focus long enough to take our eyes from truth (Jesus) and onto desperately depending on circumstances rather than the word of God.
Why do we do this? Have we become so disillusioned with patience and waiting that we depend on an "Instant or I'm out" mentality?
Although His timing seems postponed at times, delayed, or even null in void, we must hold true to Hebrews 6:19
"We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain."
HE IS CONSTANT & HIS timing is PERFECT!
It's funny to me that although we grow older and wiser in so man ways the yearning for more never stops... Why is that? Why can't we be content with what has been given and trust God for what he will and longs to provide in HIS time? Why....Because we are still in the flesh, and although God is not glorified by my inward focus on my circumstances, my timing, mine, mine, mine... He IS glorified when I lift my hands in surrender as I realize I cannot do this, and desperately need Him to be the anchor through every sweet or stormy sea! How do we do this? How do we get passed our selfishness and need for answers to our self-related questions... The answer is one simple word, Thankfulness...

Thankful for what He has done, Thankful for what He is doing, and Thankful for what He will do! 

Not out of obligation, but by grace

Not out of pity, but by love

Not out of results, but by hope....

Hope... throughout the uncertainty of the the result, timing, and even outcome.
Hope that heals, restores, revives and renews.
HOPE, because He who promised is FAITHFUL!!!

Some of my favorite scriptures all include the word HOPE (( Hince the title of this blog! )) :)

*Romans 15:13

"May the God of your HOPE so fill you with all joy in peace in believing that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound, and be overflowing with HOPE!"

*Romans 5:5

"And HOPE does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."

*Colossians 1:27

"God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in 
you,the HOPE of glory."

Thankful for so many blessing this Saturday evening!! 
-Hannah


Saturday, March 2, 2013

His Present Presence in our lives...


I have dropped the ball on blogging daily or even every couple of days, however I am planning on catching up soon!

         On another note, I was at a friends house tonight for fellowship and she asked a question that really got me thinking. The questions was:

"If there was something you could tell younger girls about what it would be and why?"

Without hesitating it was this...

Finding love, or having love "find you," is not the end all, peak, or even starting point of life. Life begins when we find our rest and salvation in Christ alone, and ONLY that completes us!

As quickly as this thought came to mind though, I realized right after this... That if and when I am not fully guarded and holding my thoughts captive to the Lord, this is the VERY lie I find myself believing.

Allow me to elaborate...

Common questions asked are:

So are you dating anyone?  Well why not? I have a cousin, friend, son, nephew, grandson, & the list goes on...

It's these questions, conversation starters, and even ( yes I know) "best intentions"that make you think...Well why am I single, something must be wrong with me!

It's when I ask myself this question that I should be ready with my response... I am single because God has given this to me for this season.
No I don't believe it will last forever, no it's not always fun or comforting, but YES, this is where I am and I will embrace it.

Easy to write, and even say, but how easy is this to live?

As women of the WORLD: Impossible
As women of the WORD: Not only possible, but with JOY!

In addition to this, as single women we have an opportunity now that we will not have forever.
For example, how many of us have heard our parents say, "well when I was your age...." We immediately tune them out because yes they were our age at some point, but that day is not today.

It is the same way with our singleness. We have an opportunity now to invest, pour into, and lead lives that show that life is not about finding love, or even love finding us but that GOD shows, shares, and GIVES us life and a love greater than life itself!

I don't know about you but I'm ready to fully embrace this season and not slow down or even spend time wondering what will be when life is here now. Relationships, opportunities  and random acts of kindness await us everyday, but we must embrace it now!

We will continue to yearn and dream of the "next" phase until we take faith and hope in what God is doing now!

Don't allow Satan to rob you of what the Lord is doing now, remember...

..."No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him."
1 Corinthians 2:9










Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ruth...


RUTH
We can all learn from this woman of poise and devotion!


*Ruth was dedicated and devoted to things far more important than herself. In fact, she made it a priority to care for the need of others (Naomi & Boaz) more than her own desires. (1:16-18)


16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.

*Ruth was a pursuer of work, and fully embraced the field God had called her to work in. (2:3)

 So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek.

*Ruth was a servant (2:18)

18 She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.

*Ruth was hardworking (5-7, 17)


Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, “Who does that young woman belong to?”
The overseer replied, “She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi.She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.”

17 So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah.[a

*Ruth was humble and grateful (2:6, 13)

10 At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?

13 “May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord,” she said. “You have put me at ease by speaking kindly to your servant—though I do not have the standing of one of your servants.”

*Ruth was confident & took refuge in the Lords strength. (2:12)

12 May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.

*Ruth was obedient (2:22-23, 5-6)

22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.”
23 So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.

“I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. So she went down to the threshing floorand did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.

*Ruth was patient and waited on Gods timing (3:10, 18)

“This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. 

18 Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.”

*Ruth worshipped the Lord and shared His greatness with others! (4:14,15)


14 The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to theLord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 

15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”

* So many great things jump out from this short book, yet after reading it this past time I saw it in a new way. 
I am sure many of you can relate to being in different "fields of life", yet how often do we fully embrace the field we are in? I am so guilty of "working in my field that God has so evidently placed me in, yet I allow so many things to distract me and steal my attention. I love the advice Naomi gave to Ruth (2:22)

22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.”

She was talking about staying in the actual field, yet how often do we allow distractions to take us to other places, people, or even circumstances that harm us when we could have been protected if we had only listened and trusted in the provision of the Lord! 

Like Ruth, I want to be focused on the task at hand, like Esther I want to be prepared for "such a time as this," Like Isaiah I desire to say those three words and mean this with all that is in me... Here I am! No matter the circumstance, whether you desire something that has not come, have something you do not want, or even fight being content with where you are now, remember this...

God, who is PERFECT in power, love, and timing is working and interceding on your behalf at this very moment. Continue to trust him and let His plans prevail. Like Ruth let's SET OUT in our fields and trust God to do what only HE can do! 

Seeking Refuge in Him, 

Hannah


Genesis 27

Genesis 27 (Isaac blesses Jacob)

v.1-4 Issac commands Esau (oldest) to go out in the fields and prepare a delicious meal so he (Isaac) can bless him.

v.5 Rebekah (who favors Jacob) overhears and has Jacob go out and do the same.
v.6-17 Together, Rebekah and Jacob scheme a plan in order to deceive Issac.

v.18 Jacob goes to his father, Isaac to receive the blessing where he deceives his father multiple times.

v. 25 Isaac eats the meal brought by Jacob, but believes it is Esau.

v.26-29 Isaac blesses Jacob.

v.30-Esau comes back from the field with everything his father had requested to find his father has already given the blessing to his younger brother Jacob.

v. 34-38
Esau pleaded and even wept before his father in hopes of receiving just one blessing.

v.41 Esau, after not receiving any blessings becomes enraged and plans to kill Jacob. (v.45)

v.42-45 Rebekah overhears and tells Jacob of Esau's plan and encouraged Jacob to flee from the land and sends him away.


*Both Isaac and Esau are disappointed, even agitated, yet God had already said years before...

"The older (Esau) will serve the younger (Jacob). -Genesis 25:23

Even after God had spoken this over the lives of both sons, Isaac favored Esau and wanted him to receive the blessing/inheritance. This makes Proverbs 19:21 come to life even more...

"Many are the plans in a man's heart but it is the Lords purpose that prevails."

*Though Rebekah and Jacob were also in sin, God used what they turned into a mess for his good.

Rejoicing that HE is in control and can turn any mess into a message for His glory!

-Hannah


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Genesis 26

Genesis 26 (God's promise to Isaac)

V. 3-5 God acknowledges the promise he made to Abraham and because of Abraham's faithfulness, God extends his promise to Isaac.

*We see the importance of leading a Godly life, not only for our lives, but for the future generations to follow in and as a result, receive blessings.
V.6-10


So Isaac stayed in Gerar.
When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful.”
When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelek king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. So Abimelek summoned Isaac and said, “She is really your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?
Isaac answered him, “Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her.”
10 Then Abimelek said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the men might well have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.”

*We also see the similarities between both Abraham & Isaac; yet once again God showed favor...

11 So Abimelek gave orders to all the people: “Anyone who harms this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”


v.12-16 Isaac's wealth and gains become so great the men of the city became envious, and made him leave.

v. 16... Then Abimelek said to Isaac, “Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us.

Isaac left with his servants and settled there and the Lord appeared to him.

24 That night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.”

*God affirms his faithfulness to Isaac because of his covenant with Abraham.

25 Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well.

*Though Isaac and his servants are doing well, the people of Gerar were not. Abimelech left the land and found Isaac to receive his blessing of peace so they too would be blessed. (v.26-31)

*The favor of God is an incredible thing! People, Kings even sought out men of God (Isaac) to receive peace in means of experiencing the mercy of God.

After making peace with the people of Gerar, God rewards this treaty and shows favor as they find new wells of water. (v.33)

34 When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35 They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.


*Foreshadow of the trouble to come as a result of Esau's hardened heart towards God.



Friday, January 25, 2013

Genesis 25

Genesis 25 (Abraham's death & his descendants)

Abraham took another wife, and has several other children; nevertheless, Isaac remains the favored one.

v.8 Abraham dies at the age of 175 years old. (Buried with Sarah in a cave in the land of Canaan.

v.9 Isaac & Ishmael come together to bury their father.

v.12-18 (Reference to Ishmael's sons)


19 This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Isaac.

Abraham became the father of Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram[c] and sister of Laban the Aramean.


*Both Abraham & Sarah had to wait years before bearing a son as did Isaac & Rebekah.

21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of theLord.
23 The Lord said to her,
“Two nations are in your womb,
    and two peoples from within you will be separated;
one people will be stronger than the other,
    and the older will serve the younger.
24 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 25 The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau.[d] 26 After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob.[e] Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.


*1st born- Esau (skillful hunter, man of the field).

*2nd born-Jacob (quiet man, dwelling in the tents)


27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. 28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country,famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.[f])
31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.
32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”
33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.
So Esau despised his birthright.


*Esau gives his birthright to his younger brother Jacob... ( v23 , "the older will serve the younger")

It is evident from scripture God knew Esau would serve Jacob, yet what could Esau have been used for had he realized the treasure he had inherited (our eternal life) rather than seeking what was appealing (worldliness) only for a moment...

"The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."
John 12:25

Genesis 23 & 24

Genesis 23 (Sarah's death & Burial)

Sarah, beloved wife of Abraham dies at the age of 127.

Abraham weeps (v2) and seeks out to bring her a proper burial.


She died at Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her.


*Sarah is buried in a cave, land of Canaan.

Genesis 24 (Isaac & Rebekah)

*Abraham sets out to find a wife for Isaac.

This covenant of marriage which we saw between Abraham & Sarah, and now Isaac & Rebekah represents the covenant of marriage. This powerful covenant representing the bridegroom (Jesus) returning for his bride one day!( His church) 


True faith always results in obedience. He does not NEED anything for the eternal son.
The bride is the fathers love gift to His son. 

In Genesis 24 Isaacs servant referred to him as 'master'. HIs job was to bear witness to the greatness of his master.

*This is the same situation for Christ followers today! We must bear witness & testify to the greatness of our God!

The servant begins his journey and sets out to find a wife for his master. (Isaac)

v.12


12 Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. 14 May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink,and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”

15 Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milkah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. 16 The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again.

*Gods timing is perfect!

...We read on to find Rebekah waters all of his camels and opens her home where the servant dines and meets with her entire family. 

Before eating the servant expresses his proposal and Rebekah is left with a choice...

57 Then they said, “Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.” 58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”
“I will go,” she said.
59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men. 


*When Rebekah said yes she was under the providential care of God and was now a part of the plan that would bring salvation to the whole world. Had she stayed we would not have heard about her again.

Praying for a willingness to go, WHEREVER He may lead!

-Hannah