“… dominion…”

What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen— Even the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas. Psalms 8:4‭-‬8 NKJV https://bible.com/bible/114/psa.8.4-8.NKJV

These words struck me this morning.

Have I pondered this truth?

What does it mean to have dominion over the works of God’s hands?

Strong’s Definitions: מָשַׁל mâshal, maw-shal’; a primitive root; to rule:—(have, make to have) dominion, governor, × indeed, reign, (bear, cause to, have) rule(-ing, -r), have power. (Copied from The Blue Letter Bible app.)

He gave mankind the job of ruling over His creation.

We are God’s stewards.

What He has given doesn’t belong to us, but is in our care.

I had to stop.

Do I handle my every day as if caring for the Lord’s things?

Do I even think about this truth?

Sometimes, I do not.

But as the sun climbed higher in the sky, the Lord encouraged me.

Today is a new opportunity to live with the proper mindset.

Today is open, a chance to be a wise caretaker.

Today, is all I have and I want to live it well.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for showing me these verses this morning. Thank You that all I think of as “mine” is really Yours and You will guide me as to what You want me to do. Lord, please continue to teach me how to view life and this world. Lord, help my heart to be filled with compassion and love. Lord, please help me to be wise and to use the things You have placed in my care well. Lord, teach me to be a good steward, that I might hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant”. Thank You, Lord. I love You. Amen.

Strong

Joshua 1:9 NKJV — “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

These words were to Joshua as he was leading the Children of Israel into the Promised Land.

It’s not a suggestion, God gave a command.

God’s command to Joshua can still be applied to us today, we need to obey the Lord completely and to be strong and courageous in that obedience.

Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV — Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

Here we see the Children of Israel grieving over their sins.

But it was a holy day unto the Lord, thus the call was to celebrate, not because they were ignoring their sins, but because God was greater.

That is why they could celebrate and find strength in the joy of the Lord.

Nahum 1:7 KJV — The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

It’s not our ability or inability which brings us strength or security, it’s understanding God is truly the only Refuge and in Him we are saved.

Proverbs 14:26 KJV — In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.

It is when we place our trust in Him and honor God that we can find strength and confidence in His faithfulness.

It’s not easy to lay aside our own ideas of refuge, security, and how to be strong, but it’s the only true way.

Any other “strength” will rot out from under us when we need it the most.

But when we find our strength in the Lord, there is true refuge.

Ephesians 6:10 KJV — Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

1 Corinthians 16:13 NKJV — Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.

For these are the things we can do in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. I feel so unable to truly express the strength and security of walking with You in all things. Lord, I do not want to lean on anything but You. Please continue to expound to my heart and mind what it means to walk in Your strength, to find the joy of the Lord is my strength! Thank You for Your wonderous ways and Your incredible truth. Thank You for Your love and faithfulness. I praise Your holy name!! Amen.

“A little more suffering, please.”

Has anyone said this?

From the beginning of our lives, pain and suffering is something we want to avoid.

Physical pain helps us to know when we are endangering ourselves or something is wrong.

Physical pain is beneficial, because our physical bodies need to be protected from harm and pain can be a warning.

That’s why a parent teaches their child not to touch something “hot”, not to eat or drink something “yucky”.

It’s a safety issue.

So, purposefully guarding our bodies from harmful substances and activities is wise, it honors the One who gave it to us.

Yet, the spirit is a different matter, completely.

James 1:2-4 NKJV — My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

It’s not comfortable or fun to “fall into various trials”.

Actually, the average American person spends a good deal of their adulthood trying to avoid trials.

Scripture makes it clear God uses trials.

He works on our character by walking us through tribulations.

Romans 5:3 KJV — And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

Trials are not something a we have to look hard to find.

As Christ followers, we should expect them.

John 15:18 NKJV — “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

Jesus’s life is our example and that includes suffering.

He suffered to an extent no human can comprehend.

God became man, to allow His own creation to accuse Him of being Himself, beat Him and crucify Him.

He came, choosing the greatest suffering, that mankind might be saved from eternal suffering, the consequence we chose when sin contaminated our race.

With this gift of salvation from Jesus Christ, we get another choice, that of following Him.

It’s the best kind of suffering.

To live in the world and yet not to be of the world.

To walk daily, choosing to allow God and His Word to work in us, continually shaping our hearts.

Letting patience have it’s perfect work that we might be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

2 Corinthians 4:17 KJV — For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for salvation and Your example to us in all things. Lord, please continue to hone our hearts and to guide our steps. Lord, help our mouths to be full of Your praise, our eyes fixed upon Your Word, our hearts tender, and our minds focused upon You. Lord, it goes against our earliest emotions to be willing to die to ourselves, but it’s the only way we can live unto You. Lord, please help us to better understand how to rejoice when we fall into trials and how to walk with You in patience. Thank You for Your Word, Your truth, and Your faithfulness. I love You, Jesus. Amen

May 2

Psalm 27:8 NKJV — When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for loving us so much that You died to bridge the gap between us created by our sin. Lord, You are faithful, true, just, right, holy, lovely, and kind. Thank You for Your goodness. Thank You for Your Word. It is true and in it is life. Lord Jesus, great is Your name and greatly to be praised. Lord, wipe away anything which would hinder our ability to seek You today. Lord, wash us clean from the stains of sin and our own flesh. Thank You for all Your wonderous works on our behalf. Lord, thank You for all You have done, are doing, and will do. Please help the helpless, provide for the needy, defend the fatherless and orphan, protect the innocent, thwart the enemy, return the prodigal, and save the lost. Lord, please fill our hearts with Your love, our minds with Your Word, and our mouths with Your praise! Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Each day is a blessing

As the checker scanned the new dresses we were getting for Anne at the Goodwill she mentioned the beautiful day.

I responded back and in my heart wondered if this older woman would be finished with her shift in time to enjoy the sunshine.

It took me back to the first summer I had a job.

I remember feeling a bit envious of those whose time allowed them to get out and enjoy the sunshine instead of merely appreciating it from indoors.

With this memory came a thankful heart for the ability to enjoy a beautiful day no matter where I am.

Because everyday is a gift from God.

His creation is a blessing and I never want to miss an opportunity to praise Him for it.

Psalm 96:4 NKJV — For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.

Psalm 95:3 NKJV — For the LORD is the great God, And the great King above all gods.

Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV — Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

Psalm 118:24 NKJV — This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your creation. Thank You for the beauty of plants, and flowers, mountains, beaches, deserts, lakes, oceans, prairie,… Thank You for the beauty in each individual carefully crafted by You. The unique finger print, the family resemblance, or lack there of. All the beauty how You made mankind from dust. The very hairs of our head numbered. Lord, too often I grow callous to the beauty around me, numb to the incredible creation of man, beast, bird, and creeping thing. Lord, please help me to return to thankfulness when I grow numb. Bring me a fresh wonder at all the intricate details, just like a small child whose seeing it for the first time. Lord, please help me to remember all that creation speaks so loudly about: You. Let my heart never grow dim and begin to worship the creation rather than You, the Creator. Lord Jesus, thank You for all Your wonderous works. I love You. Amen.

A chapter closed

and another began, last Friday.

Because our youngest daughter graduated from high school.

Praise the Lord!

He has been so faithful to her and she has grown in so many ways.

Honestly, I don’t know where to start counting His blessings.

It is why there’s a cross on her tassel instead of a year.

Anne put it there because,

“God is the One who brought me through this, and it’s my way of thanking and remembering His goodness to me.”

I just smiled and nodded.

For Anne to complete her GED has been a long and difficult journey.

Anne has always found book learning challenging.

Reading was especially difficult.

I kept looking for patterns, something which would guide me as to what she was grappling with.

God brought us some solutions during her 5th grade year.

She was experiencing health issues and our doctor sent us to a specialist.

“Migraines, she having migraine headaches.”

The doctor spoke so matter-a-fact about it, but I couldn’t wrap my mind around it.

“Isn’t she too young for that?!”

He calmly explained it was unusual, but not impossible.

He gave me some things to try and foods to avoid.

We made the changes and she improved.

About the same time I was able to find an eye doctor who found out why Anne would pass an exam, but was struggling to read anything in the afternoon.

She has an unusual eye fatigue problem, her dad, my husband does as well.

When the eye doctor caught it, she ordered glasses right away and explained that Anne’s eyes couldn’t hold a focus after 15-20 minutes.

I remember thinking, “No wonder she’s struggling in school!”

In middle school I’d taken her and two siblings to a tutor who specialized in helping those with learning disabilities.

After doing lessons twice a week for over a year, I received some training from her to work with the kids myself.

My husband’s job had changed and we couldn’t afford the lessons any longer.

Then we took the big step.

I went to the school district and asked to have Anne and her sister tested for learning disabilities.

My husband and I had done that for our son years before, so it wasn’t an unknown.

I can’t say enough good things about the people we worked with in the school.

They were God’s blessing to our family and I love them.

Anne and Bell began taking one class a day in the SPED room after both being classified as having learning disabilities.

When we moved here, I was nervous.

Being a homeschooling family is one thing, but having your students on IEPs and still homeschooling is another completely.

God was so patient with me and my fears.

That summer held so many changes.

Before our move here, Anne’s health went seriously down hill.

Our doctor had me make a food journal and we started noticing a pattern.

Anne is hypoglycemic and if she doesn’t eat protein every four hours she has all kinds of trouble.

So, with our move came a new schedule which included Anne eating protein often.

When school began we contacted them and began the meetings.

(If you don’t know the process with an IEP, just trust me, there’s meetings.)

I explained to the head Special Education teacher we had just moved from a tiny rural place (like 800 people total) to where we were now (sitting in a highschool with 1,000 students) and how we were willing to do whatever was required.

Anne had to begin attending class, twice to three times a week depending on the schedule.

It was not a little frightening.

After the first week I mentioned Anne’s trouble in dealing with the mob of students as she was trying to make her way to class.

The teacher changed her schedule so she’d be coming and going while regular classes were in session.

We were so surprised and thankful, Anne actually began enjoying her class.

After about a month of this, Anne had finished all the required testing and we had another meeting.

“We can not provide services for her, because she no longer has a learning disability.”

I cried.

I couldn’t find the words to express my joy at the improvements she had made.

Anne no longer had to attend the high school, we simply continued her education at home and praised God for this unexpected blessing.

After all her struggles, it was very understandable that she felt a good deal of concern about her ability to pass the GED.

She studied and took practice tests as well as online classes.

She stuck to it and a week ago she passed her final test.

We are excitedly awaiting her diploma.

God has answered our prayers and provided for her in incredible ways.

We are enjoying this month with our graduate.

She’s going to be leaving us for the summer.

God put it on her heart to live with my mom and care for her while Mom under goes two surgeries, first on her right foot and then the left.

We will miss Anne so much, but are so glad she’s doing this.

My heart can not contain the joy I have when I see my children walk with Jesus.

Paul’s words speak clearly for me:

Philippians 1:3 KJV — I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your faithfulness. You are incredible and I praise Your holy name. Lord, thank You for each of our children and how You are guiding them. Lord this journey of our daughter’s has been difficult, but it’s made the end so much sweeter. Thank You for blessing her in these things. Thank You for teaching her about trusting in You. Lord, whatever the next chapter holds, we will praise You. May her life bring glory to Your name. Amen.

In the past week

Our latest furniture project.

I knew of some items on our schedule, which I wanted to pray for, but I didn’t expect our week to be what it was.

In the past seven days, our family has experienced some big things.

(Some of them I will share with you in a later post.)

It’s been a blessing to give extra time to prayer, because we’ve needed it!

My husband’s grandmother had a heart attack and at 93, we thought we were going to loss her.

I am praising the Lord for continuing to sustain her and she’s recovering.

Our truck was in the shop the entire week due to a part not coming in.

This really threw a wrench in our plans as my hubby took time off from work to get it down to the shop and spend time with his parents while in that area.

He did end up spending one night with them after all, but we had to call in a favor to get him back home.

God worked it out perfectly and we were thankful.

Our homeschool schedule has changed and Jase is finding it difficult.

I have peace that he will adjust and although it’s challenging, it will get easier with the passage of time.

Hubby was able to make some changes to our veggie garden and get the pea plant stakes up.

Jase planted the peas.

Once he turns over the soil, we will plant the beans and tomatoes.

I thank God every time I look out the bedroom window for how He’s blessed me with the back garden.

We had a furniture “moment” which we thought was going to equal days of work to sand off and start over.

But God stepped in and it turned out our expectations were off, the piece is turning out exactly as hoped, praise God!

Our friends had their baby!

We’ve been praying for this baby from the beginning.

His parents are thrilled and so are we.

We are so thankful for God’s gift and walking with them through this.

Children are such blessings, a heritage from the Lord.

A newborn baby is such a beautiful testimony of God, our Creator.

Our week has been such a testament to His faithfulness.

My heart can say with the Psalmist:

Psalm 139:13-14 NKJV — For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for all Your blessings and Your faithfulness. Lord, thank You for Your wonderous works are not one week or even one lifetime, but throughout all eternity! My mind can not even grasp that. Lord, You have again reaffirmed to me that no matter what is occurring or how things seem to be difficult or trying, You are God and I should place my trust in You and allow You to direct my steps. For great is Your faithfulness! I can’t always see it at the moment, but I know it is true. You see far more then I shall ever understand and I choose to trust You and Your Word. Thank You for this week. Lord, please continue to guide, direct, and teach me in Your ways and Your truth. Thank You. Amen.

April 28

Joel 3:10 KJV — Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.

Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV — Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your Word. Lord, great is Your name and greatly to be praised. Lord, let the weak say they are strong, because Your joy is their strength. Lord, let the weak say they are strong because You are our refuge and strength. Lord, let the weak say they are strong, because through Your sacrifice we are saved. Only in You can we truly find strength. Only in Your Word can we understand what true strength is. Lord, You never intended one person to use their physical strength to their own advantage at the cost of others. You intend those who are strong to protect the weak, to provide for the helpless, to use the gift You’ve given to bring You glory, honor, and praise. Anything we can do is a gift from You. Lord, thank You for sustaining us each day. Thank You for Your wonderful works. Thank You for Your continuing love and care. Lord, let those who are called by Your name be faithful, people of integrity, devoted to You, and diligent in following after You. That they might use their strength to honor You and help others. That is why we need to be strong, because it is not easy to do right. Lord Jesus, You gave all to save us from our sins, please help us to daily give all unto You. Lord, please strengthen the weak. Give men and women who are called by Your name the strength to do what it right. Let them choose You. Help me to always choose You first. Lord, please help me to be strong in Your joy and in Your Word. Help me to fully trust in You and to be wholeheartedly devoted to You in all things. In my weakness, let it be known that You are strong. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

April 27

Joshua 1:9 NKJV — “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for these words to Joshua. Thank You for Your faithfulness to the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Lord, thank You for the stories of so many people, people we can learn from by reading about them in Your Word. Lord, today I humbly request Your provision. There is such great need all around. Lord, people need You and the knowledge of Your salvation. Lord Jesus, please continue to provide for each one’s needs. Help those who are walking in ways contrary to Your laws to realize it and repent. Lord, please release the captive, those in prison for their faith in You, those trapped by addiction, abuse, and lies. Lord, please shine Your Word into our hearts and minds and help us to clearly understand You and Your Word. Lord, please supply the needs, that each of us might look to You with thankful hearts daily. If there is anything which is standing in the way between us and You, please remove it. Lord, please purify us and remove the dross. Thank You for Your Word, Your faithfulness, and Your love. Lord, You are amazing and I praise Your holy name! Amen.

April 26

Ephesians 5:22 KJV — Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

1 Timothy 3:11 KJV — Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

1 Peter 3:1 KJV — Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You that there is so much in scripture to guide and direct those who are women. Lord, oftentimes we find it offensive, the words in scripture, but Lord, I know we can trust You with every part of our lives. Too frequent, it is not Your Word at fault but our misunderstanding of it or how to apply it. Lord, You are loving, merciful, gracious, kind, gentle, full of compassion and patience. Help each of us ladies, married or not, to follow You and to live unto You in all things. Help us to be sober, hardworking, thoughtful, caring, diligent, and looking for opportunities to bless those around us. Lord, keep us from the snares of the enemy, lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Lord, help us to be godly examples to other young ladies. To exhort and encourage girls to be devoted to God and not focused on men. Lord, please help our speech to be honorable before You, clean, wholesome, uplifting, and full of praise. Lord, please help us to take prayer seriously. To be diligent in seeking Your face and Your Word for ourselves and others. Lord Jesus, please make us a generation of women known for our good works, our love of our families, and our devotion to You. Thank You Jesus! Amen.