Christian Living, faith

A Good Wife

1 Peter 3:1-2 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.

I was talking to a wise, older, godly woman about marriage recently. God has dealt with me in the past about nagging, and I don’t do it much anymore except for the occasional persuasive nudge. I’ve learned that words don’t have the same influence or lasting effect as actions. With me working full time and my husband working at home and healing, the roles have changed a bit.

What is a good wife?

June Cleaver or Martha Stewart I am not and never was. For a long time I mixed temperament with character. I’ve been learning what being a godly wife is.

Let’s start with the tough stuff.

Sometimes husbands don’t act right (nor do wives.) Men are human and they will miss the mark. As wives, our role is helper. That doesn’t mean doormat or just a personal assistant. But it does mean we have great influence. We have the ability to set the mood. Regardless of what our husbands may be doing wrong, we need to do and live right (not just speak it.) Loving actions are far more influential than the most articulated words ever could be.

More tough stuff.

Wives are not always right. Being humble and willing to apologize and change is key. Someone asked me at work for the secret to a good marriage. I replied, “Be a good forgiver.” People make mistakes. And when we are the ones making them, we need to own it and take responsibility. The best apology is changed behavior.

Finally.

As if there’s a finally. But for this short blog, I’ll add one more point. Being a good wife starts with being a good daughter of Abba. If God isn’t first and center, no relationship will be at its best. I can’t love properly unless I know what love is. And God is love.

I spent most of my married years unpacking the Uhaul of baggage I brought and slowing throwing the junk away. Good wives to me meant looking good and having everything around you looking good, too. Now I get with maturity that looking nice on the inside reflects the outward appearance. However, it’s not about pretend perfection. It’s about true humility and love.

Am I a good wife? I’m trying. I’m being the best daughter of my Heavenly Father that I can be. Thank you Lord for the work you’re doing in me. Good daughters=good wives.

Proverbs 31:30 ESV Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Christian Living, faith

Squeezing an Orange

Luke 6:45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

I was listening to a message today by Dan Mohler. He said something that really struck me…

You wouldn’t squeeze an orange and expect to get apple juice. So why do believers when they’re squeezed produce anything other than Christ?

Wow.

And yet, far too often when trials come and life gets hard (or even in small inconveniences) we express fleshly, rebellious fruit. The juice is sour. Others around us get a bitter taste and are turned off. God forbid, we push someone away from the kingdom by being a terrible ambassador.

When I’m pressed, what does my life show?

I am 100% for being merciful and loving to people in tough seasons. When I had post partum depression three years ago I was so desperately struggling to just stay afloat. Women need tenderness in situations like that. BUT, even in the darkest times, it’s still no excuse for sin. I’ll repeat that. Even our darkest times aren’t an excuse for sin.

Something I’ve had to learn is how to go through the fire with gratitude, love, and kindness. We cannot pass on the pain we’ve been given. We’re called to pass on the Father’s love.

Hurting people don’t hurt people. Immature hurting people hurt people.

Believe me, you can hurt terribly and not wound others in the process. Mature hurting people don’t want others to feel as they do so they’re soft and kindhearted.

During this season I’ve been doing a huge heart check. It starts there. The soul-mind, will, and emotions is what we label the heart. And it’s deceitful by nature (see Jeremiah 17:9.)

I want to leave you with what God left me. What comes out when life squeezes you? Are you easily offended or angered? Do you gossip? Get critical or presumptuous? Lie? Envy? Compromise?

Sukkot is a time to look at our earthly bodies (sukkahs) and see what we’re allowing to reside there. Is it honoring YHVH and pleasing Him?

Father, I pray when life presses us that we produce godly fruit and emulate Messiah. Help me Lord.

Christian Living, faith

Peace

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

I have learned that when my peace leaves, it’s an indication I’ve taken my focus off of God. I recently had a conversation with a prayer partner and friend. She expressed her frustration over something. I shared the same sentiment. We realized that God was purging something from our hearts.

There are many things that can steal our peace. I don’t watch the news for this very reason. Evil is in abundance out there. But what steals my peace more than anything comes from an unexpected and strange place to me.

When I strive for peace.

The more I try to be at peace, the less I seem to be. When I notice I’m uneasy and distracted, the effort to be calm seems to frustrate me more. As I try to “feel” peace, I sense less. Then I end up in discouragement as I’m trying to be, feel, or somehow experience something that’s out of reach.

Peace isn’t something; it’s someone.

That revelation right there has been carrying me through. Perfect Shalom is found in Yeshua (Jesus.) I’ve always known that and at times I’ve lived it. But this reality has recently been deepening. It came through tears and much time in prayer. The world around me isn’t peaceful. He is peace and the source of it. When it’s dwindling, it’s a sign I’m losing focus.

Afflicting the soul and doing teshuvah comes from recognizing who peace, love, and life is. And everything and everyone else that isn’t. The more I know what I’m not and He is, the more I discover my worth through Him.

We are all broken and in need of a Savior. Give mercy and love. Few people are truly at peace. When someone acts ugly, they feel ugly inside.

This Yom Kippur points me to the cross more than any Easter service ever could. For without the cross, I’d be forever afflicted. He is my peace. I pray He’s yours also.

Ephesians 2:14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility

Christian Living, faith, Feasts

Garment of Praise

Isaiah 61:3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.

The Feast of Trumpets is upon us. A few have already observed it and for some it’s happening now. Folks that observe this play a shofar live or digitally. They shout and rejoice. It’s the harvest new year. This year especially, I have a different perspective.

Several people close to me have been battling depression and going through incredibly difficult trials. They don’t feel like rejoicing at all. And for people like me who came to the realization of being grafted in long after knowing Jesus, it’s an interesting and, dare I admit it, awkward feast. I love praising my King. But it feels at times like I’m being a “wannabe Jew” or I’m wearing clothing that just doesn’t fit me right.

“I get you don’t like Halloween but why bother trying to be something you’re not?”

One person recently said something along those lines to me. Being Messianic, I hear it fairly often. But this time it pierced. I became determined this year to study and experience the Feast of Trumpets until it’s completely soaked in my spirit.

Except one thing.

It hadn’t happened. I expected something powerful and grand. Something impressive and ornate. God pointed me a different direction.

Why do I praise God? Why rejoice?

I have done some soul searching. It’s easy to just do what others are doing. But why are they doing it? I have an incredible blessing being a 21st century woman. I know Jesus. And I know someday that trumpet will sound and the graves will be opened.

Fall used to be pumpkins, lattes, fuzzy socks, pies, hot chocolate, and cozy sweaters. It still is. However, it’s a lot more than that now. It’s the dress rehearsal for the King’s return. It’s the reminder that life is seasonal and there’s hope. And it reminds me to whom I belong.

I pray that no matter how heavy you feel right now, you put on a garment of praise. The King is coming! HalleluYAH!

Shana tova!

Joel 2:1-2 ESV Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; it is near, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people; their like has never been before, nor will be again after them through the years of all generations.

Christian Living, faith

5,000 Meals

Mark 6:44 And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.

I’ve always loved the story of Jesus (Yeshua) feeding the 5,000. When including women and children, it was much more than that. The thought that I can bring something small and God could multiply it is beautiful. Hopeful. Even sobering.

Recently God gave me a revelation that I’ve been chewing on since. Yes, it’s wonderful that thousands were fed from five loaves of bread and two fish. I think most people would love to see God enlarge their efforts and expand their circle of influence.

But what if God calls you to feed 5,000 meals to one person?

What if God can use each of us in someone’s life to give them 5,000 meals? What if someone through our obedience is saved, healed, delivered and made whole? What if we’re too busy trying to find 5,000 people to feed that we miss the one person that could be nourished into eternity?

I want to reach as many as I can with the Good News. But I foremost want God glorified. It’s not about me and how awesome I am (because I’m not.) It’s about His Kingdom, His will, and His glory. Always.

If people who read my blogs and posts and talk with me are left thinking, “That was nice” then I’ve missed it. My desire, and why my blog username is Transforming Waters, is that God’s life changing and transforming waters would pour out in all that I do. My words cannot heal, deliver, save, or eternally change anything or anyone. Only YHVH can do that.

I want to challenge you as God has challenged me to see the story of feeding the 5,000 in another perspective. God doesn’t just want to feed one meal to the multitudes. He wants them fed for life. May we be humble, surrendered vessels that do that for His glory and His fame.

Lord, multiply our good works. As we are obedient, bless others. Help us not just feed the many, but feed many into the one that needs it most.

Mark 6:41-43 ESV And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish.

Christian Living, faith

Becoming the New Self

Ephesians 4:24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

I’ve been looking at my “memories” or Facebook posts from previous years. I usually casually glance at them and share something that catches my eye. Many of them are good. Some even challenge me.

Becoming the new self.

But there are a few that are cringeworthy for me. Some I just delete and others I set to “only me.” I want them as a reminder of how much I’ve grown. The same is true of these blogs.

I get a few folks that will read some of my older ones. A couple of times I deleted those past blogs that I just can’t stand behind anymore. For the most part, I’ve left them all be. It chronicles my spiritual and emotional journey. It’s sort of like a public journal.

I don’t have the same perspective as I used to on some things (people and situations.)

We can’t see our own growth when we measure day-to-day. But when we measure month-to-month or year-to-year it’s obvious. At least it should be. If it’s not, something’s wrong. We are supposed to be growing and improving.

It’s frustrating to feel like you’ll never overcome something or get victory over some sin or issue. Sometimes freedom is immediate, but often it’s not. Victory is found in being faithful to the process.

We don’t know what someone is fully going through and has overcome to be where they are now. It’s easy-and I’ve done it-to casually throw a negative judgment on another. But we don’t see all of the details like God does. We just don’t know the hell someone may have experienced or been delivered from. I wonder how many looked at the Bible characters familiar to most of us and thought or said, “Who do you think you are?”

  • He’s just the Carpenter’s son.
  • She is just a prostitute.
  • He’s just a crook.
  • She’s just a liar.
  • They don’t belong.

Today, I’m meditating on God’s refining touch. How He takes broken, flawed vessels like myself and with great patience and care molds us. It would be so much easier for God (not that anything is too difficult) for Him to have just killed off this planet and started over. And He almost did, but Noah found favor with the Creator.

I’ll never understand why God chooses us. Perhaps it’s that we’re made in His image. Whatever the reason, He chooses us. Our response should be our lives being offered in devotion.

Thank you Father that I’m no longer my old self. I’m becoming new more each day. May you also.

Christian Living, faith

Being Free

John 8:32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:32 is the verse today in my Bible app. During this season of teshuvah I’ve been praying and thinking about what freedom, spiritually speaking, is.

Sloppy grace.

For many years I saw freedom in Christ sort of like sloppy grace (greasy grace.) I’m no longer “under the law” so I’m under grace now. I can pretty much do what I want as long as I’m not doing anything “terrible.”

Except that’s not scriptural.

Freedom from sin doesn’t mean I get to do more of it.

Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

Teshuvah is about repentance and turning from sin to God and His righteous ways. It’s an act of turning away and turning to. It can also been defined and used as an action of remorse and restitution.

What is freedom?

That’s what I’m thinking about this morning. What does living free look like? How do I celebrate my salvation and God’s goodness in a way that’s in spirit and truth?

I don’t have a bunch of steps to list out here. I’m learning myself. But in this moment I’m thankful for the law. Oh yes, you read that right. It points to my failings and puts the cross in the center of everything. And it shows me the benchmark of Kingdom living.

Thank you God for freedom that comes through knowing your beautiful law and the grace to walk in it.

Psalm 119:165 ESV Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.