On the mountain of the Lord, it will be provided.

Another older post and one that the Lord gave me. By the time this is posted, a few newer posts should be done. Thank you for your continuing encouragement and support. 

Last week, I wrote about Jehovah Jireh, our Provider, from this text Genesis 22:14  So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.

I’ve read that passage so many times, but reading it again, I found something curious ( it’s always been there, but my eyes and heart were opened this time). Right after Abraham finds the ram caught by its horns and calls God, The Lord who Provides, the very next line, mentions On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided. That verse stayed with me and a couple of nights later, I felt the Spirit showing me some things that were provided by God on the mountain, in several places in the Bible. I can honestly tell you, that it wasn’t my insight, it wasn’t my intelligence, or my studies. It was definitely something that The Spirit showed me, otherwise I wouldn’t have known about it.

For example, Moses received the 10 commandments on a mountain. He and his brother Aaron died on a mountain too. Joshua asked the tribes on stand on 2 facing mountains and proclaim blessings and curses on the nation of Israel. Hebron, a hilly country was given to Caleb and his family. Elijah “saw” God’s appearance as a still , small voice while he was hiding in a cleft in a mountain. The temple of God and the city of Jerusalem itself were on top of a mountain ( Jerusalem is still an uphill kind of city). Jesus was transfigured on top of a mountain. He fed the 5000 and maybe 7000 too, on top of a mountain. He spoke the beatitudes from the top of a mountain. Jesus spent the night before His death, on the mount of Olives ( the garden of Gethsamane is at the foot of it) He was crucified on a hill, and ascended from a mountain and will come back again to one.

So, I wanted to do a comprehensive study of mountains in the Bible, and tell you about it. I hope you can share your mountain-top experience with me. What God showed you, when He came through for you, how it changed you and who you are now because of those experiences. That way we can join together as the body of Christ and give Him the glory He deserves.

While studying about the significance of mountains in the Bible, several things come to mind. In one article, they mention that mountains/ hills/ hilly cities/ mountainous regions are mentioned over 500 times in the Bible. I’m taking their word for it :-). Thinking of mountains and hills in a geographical sense, they’re higher than the surrounding land, and so strategically they were the best places to set up capitals of kingdoms, easier to fortify, easier to defend and generally un-takeable by the enemy. In a spiritual sense, it seemed that being on the top of a mountain was being closer to God. On top of mountains, several things that were important to the people of God took place. Conversely, the people, when they decided to do what was right in their own eyes, took to worshipping false gods on the mountains ( In several places in 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles, when the king followed after God, it is mentioned that he destroyed the altars in the high places).

So starting at the beginning,

 

In the psalms, mountains usually appear in a prayer to God or praise. 

  • Psalm 3:4 I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.
  • Psalm 15:1 [ Psalm 15 ] [ A psalm of David. ] Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?
  • Psalm 24:3 Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place?
  • Psalm 30:7 Lord, when you favoured me, you made my royal mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.
  • Psalm 36:6 Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
  • Psalm 48:1 [ Psalm 48 ] [ A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah. ] Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain.
  • Psalm 68:16 why gaze in envy, you rugged mountain, at the mountain where God chooses to reign, where the Lord himself will dwell for ever?
  • Psalm 97:5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth.
  • Psalm 99:9 Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy.
  • Psalm 125:2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and for evermore.

 

In the prophets.

  • Isaiah 2:1 [ The mountain of the Lord ] This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
  • Isaiah 2:2 In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.
  • Isaiah 2:3 Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’ The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
  • Isaiah 11:9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
  • Isaiah 25:6 On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine – the best of meats and the finest of wines.
  • Isaiah 25:10 The hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain; but Moab will be trampled in their land as straw is trampled down in the manure.
  • Isaiah 27:13 And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.
  • Isaiah 30:29 And you will sing as on the night you celebrate a holy festival; your hearts will rejoice as when people playing pipes go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel.
  • Isaiah 44:23 Sing for joy, you heavens, for the Lord has done this; shout aloud, you earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the Lord has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel.
  • Isaiah 49:13 Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
  • Isaiah 54:10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
  • Isaiah 65:25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,’ says the Lord.
  • Isaiah 66:20 And they will bring all your people, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord – on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels,’ says the Lord. ‘They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of the Lord in ceremonially clean vessels.
  • Jeremiah 3:23 Surely the idolatrous commotion on the hills and mountains is a deception; surely in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel.
  • Jeremiah 31:23 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘When I bring them back from captivity, the people in the land of Judah and in its towns will once again use these words: “The Lord bless you, you prosperous city, you sacred mountain.”
  • Jeremiah 46:18 ‘As surely as I live,’ declares the King, whose name is the Lord Almighty, ‘one will come who is like Tabor among the mountains, like Carmel by the sea.
  • Ezekiel 11:23 The glory of the Lord went up from within the city and stopped above the mountain east of it.
  • Ezekiel 17:22 ‘“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain.
  • Ezekiel 20:40 For on my holy mountain, the high mountain of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord, there in the land all the people of Israel will serve me, and there I will accept them. There I will require your offerings and your choice gifts, along with all your holy sacrifices
  • Ezekiel 36:1 [ Hope for the mountains of Israel ] ‘Son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel and say, “Mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord.
  • Joel 3:18 ‘In that day the mountains will drip new wine, and the hills will flow with milk; all the ravines of Judah will run with water. A fountain will flow out of the Lord’s house and will water the valley of acacias.
  • Amos 4:13 He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth – the Lord God Almighty is his name.
  • Amos 9:13 ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when the reaper will be overtaken by the ploughman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills.
  • Obadiah 1:21 Deliverers will go up on Mount Zion to govern the mountains of Esau. And the kingdom will be the Lord’s.
  • Jonah 2:6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in for ever. But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit.
  • Micah 4:1 [ The mountain of the Lord ] In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.
  • Micah 4:2 Many nations will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’ The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
  • Zechariah 8:3 This is what the Lord says: ‘I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.’
  • CARMEL  A fertile and picturesque mountain in Palestine mentioned several times in the Bible (Song of Solomon 7:5;  Isaiah 33:9;35:2;  Jeremiah 46:18;50:19;  Amos 1:2)
  • JERUSALEM, the city on a hill is called THE THRONE OF THE LORD (Jeremiah 3:17)
  • JERUSALEM , like I mentioned, is situated on a hill, in one of the two mentions of “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS,” Jerusalem is called Righteous (Jeremiah 33:16)
  • LEBANON  another mountain range is mentioned often in the Bible.

 

In the New Testament.

  • In Matthew, Jesus is tempted on a mountain. Matthew 4:8
  • He gives the sermon on the mount ( the beatitudes) Matthew 5:1
  • A number of healings take place on a mountain Matthew 15:29
  • The transfiguration of Jesus, when Moses and Elijah come to strengthen Him, they who met Him themselves on mountains, is symbolic of Jesus fulfilling the Law and Prophets. Matthew 17:1-8
  • Jesus’ final message Matthew 24:1
  • Jesus’ sending out the apostles to the rest of the world Matthew 28:16
  • In the gospels , Jesus appoints the twelve disciples on a mountain. Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-19
  • In Mark , Mark 5:11 , Jesus heals a demon possessed man.
  • In Luke, Luke 6:12 , Jesus goes up a mountain to pray.
  • Jesus feeds the 5000 ( and presumably the 7000 later ) on  mountain/ hilly region.
  • Jesus watched the disciples on the Sea of Galilee, just before the storm hit, and before He goes to them , walking on the water,  from the mountain.
  • Jesus instituting the Last Supper. Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-20.
  • Jesus, spends His last night , praying in the Garden of Gethsammane ( which is at the foot of Mt Olives).
  • Jesus dies on a hill called Calvary/ Golgotta. He gave His life, as a ransom for many. The Ultimate Provision, so that we can stand before the Presence of a Holy God.
  • Jesus appears to more than 500 people at a time after His resurrection. Matthew 28:16-20
  • Jesus ascends from a mountain . Matthew 28:16

 

Mountain-top experiences are good. That’s where we meet God, personally, where we believe and know who He is. That’s where He provides for us, what we need, when we need. It also helps us, strengthens us for when we go through the valleys. In the valleys, God becomes real, because there is no one else is to depend on. On the mountains, we are encouraged and fulfilled.

Some of my mountain-top experiences have been

  • This post, the inspiration and the content, came straight from God.
  • Being woken up in the night, to pray specifically for a friend, and to find out a few days later, that it was her need.
  • Being given advice on how to deal with my daughter, during a phase that was difficult for both of us, that paid huge dividends, to a point now, that she and I get along well.
  • Praying to understand my husband’s heart, and being shown exactly how to encourage him.
  • Reading a portion of scripture, and being able to link it with several other passages, or understand something that had bothered me.
  • In our early years of my marriage, I mentioned to my husband , that I couldn’t understand why Judah was chosen to be the line of kings, when Joseph had been faithful, and he told me, it was because Judah chose to sacrifice himself for Benjamin ( Substitution, like Christ who was from the line of Judah, would do for us on the cross).
  • Studying the names of God, and being given a new understanding of who He is.
  • Being disciplined by Christ, for being ungrateful for what I had and for where I lived, and then through repentance, coming to see that my family and I are in  A place of abundance instead.

May I ask you to share your story, your song, your mountain-top experience with us? Where did God meet you? What did you learn through it?

 

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Luke part 4 : With Jesus nothing is impossible.

All right, we are nearly there 🙂 The gospel of Luke will be over with this post and one more. If you’ve missed Luke part 1 : Jesus is willing., Luke part 2 : Jesus the healer.  and  Luke part 3 : Jesus the Teacher. , click on the links. A little re cap, there’s no internal evidence for the authorship of the gospel, but it is mostly and almost universally accepted to be Luke, a physician and later travelling companion of Paul. He undertook a systematic account telling of Jesus and the early church and wrote them down in 2 letters ( Luke and Acts) to a gentile named Theophilus.

In chapter 16: Jesus tells a parable of a dishonest but shrewd manger {1}. Jesus warns us that if we are not trustworthy with little things, no one will trust us with true riches. Jesus tells us that we cannot serve both God and money. Jesus tells a parable of a rich man and of Lazarus, a poor beggar{2}. This parable shows that once people are judged and go to heaven or hell that it cannot be reversed. The time is now, to accept Jesus or to reject Him and then live with the consequences.

In chapter 17: Jesus pronounces doom on those through whom sorrows and troubles come ( as they will). He tells us that forgiveness ( of our brothers and sisters who sin against us) is absolutely essential. The disciples ask for their faith to be increased. Jesus replies that faith as small as a mustard seed is enough to do mighty miracles. He further tells us that our attitude when we serve Him should be as a servant’s. We have only done our duty. Jesus heals 10 men of leprosy, only one man returns to give thanks , and he is a Samaritan, a foreigner. The (second) coming of the Son of Man will be accompanied by lightening and the whole world will know of it ( it will not be a secret), but first He must suffer many things and be rejected by that generation. It ( the culture) will be just like it was in the days of Noah and of Lot. People will be corrupt and making merry and will not be waiting for the Lord. Jesus warns us that at that time, we are not to turn back, not for our possessions , not for our family, not for anything. When the Day of the Lord comes, we are to flee. Jesus also warns that it will be happen at the same time across the Earth, ( 2 people sleeping, 2 people grinding corn, 2 people working in the fields etc ).

In chapter 18: Jesus tells His disciples a parable that shows we should always pray and not give up {3}. Jesus also mentions that when people cry out to Him day and night, He will not put them off, but make sure they receive justice quickly. Jesus tells a parable about a Pharisee and a tax collector {4}. People who brought babies to Jesus to bless, were rebuked by His disciples. Jesus intervened and asked them to be brought forward. He said that unless we receive the kingdom of God like a little child ( fully trusting, never wavering), we will never enter it. Jesus when asked by a rich , young, ruler, how to enter the Kingdom of God, tells him to keep the law. The man replies he has done so. Jesus further tells him to sell everything he has and give it to the poor, that makes the man sad and he goes away. Jesus tells those around Him, that the rich find it difficult to put Him first and so struggle to enter into Heaven. When those around ask , then who can be saved, Jesus replies With God nothing is impossiblePeter tells the Lord, they have left everything for Him. Truly I tell you,’ Jesus said to them, ‘no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.’ Jesus predicts His death in Jerusalem a third time but the disciples did not understand. On the way to Jericho, a blind man shouted , “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me”. When Jesus asked him what he wanted, he said that he wanted to see. Jesus granted his request.  Immediately he received his sight and praised God. 

In chapter 19 : A short and corrupt tax collector, Zacchaeus, wants to see what the fuss about Jesus is all about, so he climbs up a sycamore fig tree to see.

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Sycamore- fig tree. Look how low it is to the ground.

Jesus stops at the tree and then invites Himself to Zacchaeus’ home. Zacchaeus is moved to repent and promises to give half his wealth to the poor and repay anyone he’s cheated with 4 times as much. Jesus says he’s a son of Abraham as well.  Jesus tells a parable of 10 minas ( pieces of silver){5}. Jesus enters Jerusalem and then weeps over the city. ( Click on the link and read a post detailing the triumphal procession ). Jesus cleanses the Temple ( probably for the 2nd time ) of the money changers and commercial activities taking place there.

In chapter 20: Jesus is questioned about where He gets His authority. He turns the question back on the Pharisees and asks them what they thought about John the Baptist. Jesus tells them the parable of the tenants {6}. The Pharisees try to trick Jesus with the talk of (the deeply unpopular) taxes. Jesus tells them to give to Caesar what belongs to him, and to God what belongs to Him. The Saducees try to trick Jesus with talk of marriage after resurrection. Jesus stumps them and says that God is the God of the living. Jesus warns His disciples against following the way / actions/ teachings of the Pharisees as they are false.

{1} The manager was corrupt and about to be let go by his master. When he hears of it, he calls his master’s debtors to him and cuts what they owe his master by half, go that when he’s out of a job, they’ll be indebted to him and offer him help. The master commends the dishonest manger.

{2} Lazarus begs at the rich man’s gate and his only companions are the dogs that lick his sores. They die at the same time, the rich man goes to hell, while Lazarus, a poor man during his lifetime, goes to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man ( who is never named) begs Abraham to send Lazarus with some water to quench his thirst. Abraham refuses, saying there’s a chasm between heaven and hell that cannot be bridged. The rich man then asks that Lazarus be sent to his brothers who are still living and warn them. Abraham replies that they have the law and the prophets. The rich man says that they won’t believe them, to which Abraham replies that they will not believe someone who comes back from he dead either.

{3} A widow who needed justice done , persistently asked the judge of the town for it. Finally he was worn down enough to grant her justice. The parable explicitly mentions that he neither feared God nor worried about what people said. He gave in because of her tenacity.

{4} The Pharisee ( representative of the religious leaders, those who were confident of their own righteousness ) and the tax collector ( representative of the outcasts of society, who were looked down by everyone and deemed  filthy sinners) went up to the temple to pray. The Pharisee tried to exalt himself in his very public prayer but the tax collector was truly repentant and wouldn’t even look up to Heaven. Jesus said that the tax collector went home justified before God, because those who exalt themselves will be humbled but those who humble themselves will be exalted before God.

{5} The parable of the 10 minas ( pieces of silver) A man of noble birth goes to a distant land to be appointed king and return. Before leaving he distributes 10 minas between his servants. They hate him and send a delegation after him, asking that he’s not to be made a king. The man is crowned and returns and rewards the servants who put his mina to use and gained more. The one that did not ( he returned the mina as it was ) was stripped of his mina and it was given to the one who had 10 minas. This parable is a perfect parallel to Jesus. He left Heaven to come to Earth ( distant country). People hated Him and did not want Him to become a ruler, but Jesus became a King in spite of their opposition. He rewarded/s those who use His gifts / talents / abilities to bring others into the Kingdom. Those who don’t use His gifts will be stripped of all that they have been given.

{6} The parable of the tenants. A man planted a vineyard and gave it over to tenants. He sent servant after servant to them to collect some fruit at harvest, but they beat or shamed the servants and sent them away. Then the master sends his son and his heir whom the tenants kill. Then he master drove the tenants away and gave the vineyard to other tenants. This parable was said to rouse the conscience of the Israelites. Their ancestors had shamed, killed and beaten the prophets ( the servants) and they would kill the Son and Heir ( Jesus), in return the Master ( God ) will drive them away and put others ( gentiles) in their places.

One more post and Luke will be done! It’s hard to imagine that 4-5 chapters’ summaries can result in 1500-1800 words per post 🙂 But the Word of God is powerful and every chapter and verse has a nugget of wisdom for us. It would only help us to search for it .

See you next week,

Vanessa

Guest post by Diana Monte.

Featured image is “Still waters at Dawn…… An original oil painting by Diana Monte. “

I would love to tell you that what I remember fondly about Diana is her long, rich, black hair or her amazing height, but that’s not it. Every time I think of her , I remember a woman being patient and loving and ready to meet me in my broken-ness. She did not know me then, but I was crying and sobbing my heart out at church one evening, and she came and sat with me ( and pretended for a short time that she did not see my tears ) and told me she was waiting eagerly for her daughters to come back from college on vacation. She made small talk and drew me out. Once we were conversing she asked me what was on my heart, and do you know it, it brought the tears back! This time in release. I’m forever grateful to Diana for just hearing me out, and then praying with me and seeking me out after this episode. I think you’d love what constitutes worship to her. I pray you will be blessed by her post as I have been by the person.

Some other posts on worship by other authors are Guest post by Kailee Diaz., Guest post by Carole Sparks.Guest post by Vanessa A Harris. and Guest post by Bruce Cooper.  These godly authors have written on what worship means to them and each of the posts are very different. My hope is to inspire you to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, and to do so daily, minute by minute, hour by hour. He deserves your worship.

16" x 20" Taos Winter by Diana Monte
Painting by Diana Monte.

 

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Arabian prince by Diana Monte

Diana Monte has been teaching private painting classes for the past twenty years. She is a ‘juried’ artist whose work has been shown at the New Mexico State Fair, local Art Studio Tours, Los Ranchos Lavender Festival, Encantada Art Exhibition and several other venues. She currently is the featured poster winner for  lavenderinthevillage.com  being held on July 15th.

It is Diana’s genuine hope that her paintings bring an atmosphere of peace to a home and reflect the beauty displayed in God’s creation. You can find her art at dianamontefineart.com

Diana and her husband John live in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque with their two beautiful  daughters, Ariana and Lydia. Her husband John is on the Pastoral Staff at Legacy Church and Diana is actively involved Directing the Bliss Women’s Ministry at the East Campus at her church. Her passion is to use her art to glorify Him and to bring women into a deeper knowledge of Him.

Diana monte 1
Diana Monte

 

 

 

I was asked by Vanessa to share a little bit about Worship and how it is a part of my daily life.  I agreed and I am delighted to share a few things with you that hopefully will help you along in life. ☺

I am an artist and I am so very thankful to God for this gift/talent of creativity. Using oil paint on a canvas is an expression and passion of mine to glorify and honor Him. Over the course of many years, I have said “If I don’t use it, I’ll lose it!”   So I regularly and continually utilize and broaden my painting skills so that the God given talent increases.  It is my heart’s desire that my paintings will minister to people in some way. I pray and ask God for wisdom and ability when I paint.   Bottom line: I want to utilize my artistic talents more and more to glorify God.

Worship – the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration.

“the worship of God”

synonyms:

reverence, veneration, adoration, glorification, glory, exaltation;

devotion, praise, thanksgiving, homage, honor;

archaic magnification

Every day is a new day to grow and transform into the person that God has destined you and I to be.  What talent/gift has God given you to utilize??

Every day isn’t a bed of roses, we all face challenges, obstacles and trials in one way or another.  In the midst of these trying times, do we press into God for help and direction?  You see, our transformation usually occurs when we are being hard pressed and challenged in an uncomfortable circumstance or situation.

No matter the circumstances around you remember that God is for you and not against you. He is your strength when you are weak and weary. And He will never leave you nor forsake you. “I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

II Corinthians 12:9 / Psalm 121:1-2

I often will journal the struggles I am facing and write down the following:

  • The date and description of what the circumstances are
  • What I am praying and believing God for
  • And the emotions I am going through at the time.
  • I pray for wisdom and direction and declare that I am trusting God to be with me through it!  I always try to pray until I have a peace knowing that it is God’s hands and not mine.
  • I also find a couple of scripture verses that I can say out loud to continually pray over every situation. It is only then that I can rejoice & praise Him by faith, for the victory.

Some prayers are answered quickly and some may take years to see.

But the Fact remains, our God is Faithful !

I cannot have a victory without having the battle! A Victory reminds me that God has heard my cries for help. Growing through the tough times makes you and me stronger in so many areas.  The most important thing is knowing that God is actively involved in my life.  To me, that makes life worth living and gives me something wonderful to Worship Him for!

A situation could might be staring me in the Face, and I KNOW that it’s going to work itself out. How do I know?? Because God has ALWAYS brought me through every single situation!  I can wholeheartedly say that I can Worship God every day regardless of what I feel like.

10 [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] Philippians 3:10 (AMPC)

I pray God’s blessing over you, that your gifts/talents and abilities continue to grow and increase.  May you also express Worship wholeheartedly in your daily life!

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Olive Harvest by Diana Monte

 

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Daises by Diana Monte

 

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Some of Diana’s paintings on view at the Lavender festival. My favourites are the “Jesus the good shepherd” (3rd row, 2nd painting) and the “Still waters at Dawn” (2nd row, 1st painting, also the featured image)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed reading Diana’s post. Bring your talents to Him and watch Him do wonders with it.

In Him,

Vanessa.

 

What would Heaven be like?

Just recently I got the opportunity to collaborate with 10 really amazing girls explaining what they think/imagine heaven will be like. And I am really satisfied with the way it has turned out. This blog post will be split into 2 different parts, In each part 5 people will be sharing their wonderful views on […]

via What will it be like? (Part 1)  — my hearts revival

This author has collaborated with 10 others and have described what they think Heaven would be like 🙂 It’s a beautiful collage of  word pictures. While I’m doing something similar with my guest posts on worship, I love this idea 🙂 Swing by Sara’s blog (link above) and be blessed by and bless her.

 

 

Welcome to part 2! In this part 4 more lovely girls and myself have written what we imagine/think heaven will be like, happy reading! 🙂 Ashley: John 14:2-4 My fathers house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if […]

via What will it be like? (Part 2)  — my hearts revival

Till we meet again,

Vanessa

Picture from VisualHunt.com

Eating marshmallows in church.

When we first moved to a new city in 2016 for my husband’s job and started going to a new church, I wanted to jump in and start serving in the church right away. After all that’s what I did in the previous two churches in the 2 different cities that we had been a part of for the last 6 years. Monica, though, told me to wait. Monica, who has become a dear friend, and a godly mentor to me these last few months. Monica, on that Saturday, had just met me at a ladies’ brunch at the church. She barely knew me, but prompted by the Holy Spirit, told me to wait. Wait on the Lord first and foremost. Wait to serve Him, but serve Him by serving my husband and my children in the meantime. Serve Him by investing in my children’s lives (like an investment broker 🙂 ). Serve Him by being present with my husband. Honour Him with what I was doing and not worry about what I thought I should be doing.

Honouring Him by waiting Click to tweet!

I’m so glad that I did listen to her.

My younger son who had been diagnosed with Autism in 2015, started up ABA therapy and his hours went up from 15 to 20 and then 26 and 30 hours per week. I’ve had therapists in and out of my house for the past 2 years (2 different states) and I still do :-). Sometimes things happen, they are sick or their children are, a tire’s flat and they can’t drive, it’s a snow day and they can’t come, and sessions have had to be rescheduled. Because I wasn’t signed up in church, to serve in any capacity on a weekly basis and I wasn’t expected anywhere, I was able to accommodate any and all changes within reason 🙂

In the nearly 2 years of therapy, we’ve seen a lot of changes and improvements, some steps going back, but everything we’ve done so far, and everything we’ve sacrificed , all the time we’ve spent has been worth it 🙂

We’ve gone from merely surviving to a place where we can say , as a family in the midst of the fullness and busyness of life, we’re thriving. My daughter loves her school and enjoys every minute spent there. My son and I, our days are filled with his therapy and we’re learning to have fun during the long days, with visits to parks and play areas thrown in. My husband’s learning to balance his work and home life with us. Apart from our daily schedules, the only places we go “out” to are churches ( we still attend 3-4 churches often, with 1-2 churches being our stable that we attend every week), different parks and play areas in malls/ MacDonald’s/ Chick-Fill-A’s. We eat out very rarely and do other fun things almost never. It’s easier taking my son to places that he’s used to, so that he’s not overwhelmed.

There are several instances in the last few months that I’ve seen God’s Hand at work in our lives. I’ve also seen confirmation that the advice Monica gave me to wait, was indeed from the Holy Spirit. Adam has been making more eye contact, understanding more of what we say, speaking more and letting us know his wants appropriately. He’s been affectionate, demonstrating and asking for attention and affection like other boys his age. He’s been sleeping well and eating more as well. Christina is talking up a storm and dreaming up stories and able to articulate what she feels and tell us exactly what happened in school and what her friends did ( for a child who needed speech therapy to start talking, this is amazing!).

One of the times I remember was a Sunday when we were at our main church, which is a family service (the children sit with us so we take play doh, writing things, markers, pipe cleaners and snacks to keep them occupied and busy during the service). Adam had just started demonstrating affection in the weeks before that Sunday. He came and sat on my lap and was busy with his things and Christina came over and sat on my lap too. Adam kept looking at me, and touching my face, and smiling when I smiled back at home. Christina didn’t fight or push her brother off 🙂 and was busy with her own things. My husband had the snacks, he would offer the marshmallows (from the Lucky Charms cereal ) or the veggie straws or the cookies to them. They went and took it from him, and came back to my lap. This pattern went on throughout the hour and half service. That was also the first time that Adam sat throughout the service without making a ruckus.

Usually halfway through one of us takes him to the car. We love the pastor and the family and their love for God and the teaching of His Word authentically and so we continue to worship there. We go to 2 of the churches because the children’s programs are amazing and they make a real effort to include Adam in the regular classes (and the teaching is straight from God’s Word too which we appreciate). The other regular church that we attend weekly is down the street from us, and we love attending the mid week service, it gives us a safe place to take the children as well as an opportunity to worship God together as a couple.

So on that Sunday in December, Adam and Christina sat on my lap and were cuddly and loving and gentle and I was grateful. I was grateful for God working in their lives. I was grateful to Him for showing me that my time invested in them was paying dividends. I was grateful that all the months and years and minutes uncounted that I was working with Adam that nobody saw was showing tangible results. I was grateful to God for our family and marriage which He had restored. I was grateful that our children are happy, fun-loving, cuddly children and were thriving.

I still am. When I think of how far away these milestones were 2 years ago, I’m overwhelmed with His goodness. How Kind, how Compassionate, how Gentle, how Good our God is. To show me He is working, He is still working with all of us. To show me He is in control. To show me He loves Christina and Adam more than I ever will. To show me that they are made in His Image, and He will use them to Glorify Himself through them. To show me that He Is God. He Will Always Be. He knows what He’s doing. I just have to trust Him.

I want to mention at this time, that I don’t go by my “feelings and emotions”. I’m up and down, but whatever happens then, whatever I feel, First I bring it to the Lord, Second I wait, Third I search through scripture to back it up or refute it, and finally I either bring it to my husband or a trusted godly family member or my mentor. (When I “feel’ that God said something or something was from God or that God is doing something in my life )

There are times when I have peace about certain things, but I don’t naturally assume every time I have peace about something, it is from God. Which is why I’ve taken so long to write this post. Our feelings and emotions are part of who we are, and are definitely given to us from God ( Psalm 139 For I am fearfully and wonderfully made), but Jeremiah 17:9 the heart is deceitful above all things, is true as well. God is a good Father from whom we receive every good and perfect gift and who does not change like shifting shadows James 1:7. We can wait on Him, if it is definitely from Him, it will stand the test of time, it will not change. If it is not from Him, the passing of time will reveal it as well.

There are also times, when you know, it is from God. Those moment/s and situation/s look different for everybody. At those times, it is in your best interest (and mine) to completely follow through on the instructions/ direction / commandments being given by God.

Anyway this post is about seeing His faithfulness and marveling at His goodness for me and mine. It’s about remembering where we were and how far He’s brought us. He has definitely been working in all four of us and we can see the results. I write this to praise Him for what He has done, knowing He will continue to do so. I write this to glorify Him for Who He Is. My Maker, my Father, my Shepherd, my Healer, my God and my LORD.

Some of my favourite verses on waiting are

1.Psalm 46:10

10 He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God;

    I will be exalted among the nations,

    I will be exalted in the earth.’

2.Isaiah 30:15

15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:

‘In repentance and rest is your salvation,

    in quietness and trust is your strength,

    but you would have none of it.

 

3.2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

4.Philippians 1:6

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Be still and know that He is GodClick to tweet!

 

If you’ve seen God’s faithfulness to you, would you share that with me?

With gratitude and praise,

Vanessa.

 

Mark part 2: The suffering- servant- King was and is the Son of God.

Previously in the gospel of Mark we see that Jesus healed many, even on the Sabbath. He declares that the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath. Jesus in this gospel seems to be always on the go, but even in an action-packed gospel, several times it’s mentioned that Jesus took time to pray/ He went away alone/ He prayed to His Father. Continuing on………..

In chapter 9: This chapter starts with Jesus’ transfiguration in front of Peter, James and John. For a brief moment, they see who Jesus really is, and Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Jesus warns them not to tell anyone until the Son of Man rises from the dead. Jesus *heals a child possessed by an impure spirit whom the disciples couldn’t heal. Jesus says these kind of spirits can be driven out only by prayer (and fasting in some manuscripts). Jesus predicts His death again.35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Jesus tells them anyone not against them is for them and anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. Jesus also says that those who cause others to stumble, it would be better for them to drown in the sea.

In chapter 10: Jesus talks about divorce. It wasn’t in His plan but because of the hardness of the hearts of people it had been permitted. [c] So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Jesus blessed the little children that the disciples tried to keep away from Him. Jesus sees a *rich man, and loves him, and then tells him what to do. The rich man goes away sorrowful. 28 Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” 29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Jesus predicts His death again. *James and John ask to be seated at the right and left of Jesus in heaven. The disciples are offended. Jesus again reiteirates that they must serve others and not be like the gentiles. *Bartimaeus who is blind receives his sight.

In chapter 11: Jesus sends 2 disciples to untie a colt and bring it to Him at Bethpage and Bethany before He enters Jerusalem. People spread cloaks on the donkey and the road and Jesus rides in to shouts of Hosanna![a]“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b]10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”. Jesus curses a fig tree because He is hungry and it had no fruit (another gospel mentions it wasn’t  the season), the tree withers. Jesus cleanses the temple court of the merchandise and the selling going on. Jesus quotes Isaiah 56: 7. Jesus’ authority is questioned by the priests. He tells them He’ll answer if they can tell Him if John (the Baptist)’s anointing came from God or from man. The priests don’t want to answer “God” (because they don’t believe it) and they don’t want to answer “man” because of fear of the people who believed John was a prophet. So Jesus doesn’t answer to them either.

In chapter 12: Jesus tells a parable about the *vineyard. Jesus then quotes Psalm 118: 22-23. The Pharisees and the Herodians try to trick Jesus about paying taxes to Caesar. Jesus says ” Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s”. The Sadducees try to trick Jesus with a frivolous question about marriage at the resurrection( the Sadducees did not believe in resurrection), Jesus answers When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 26 Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’[d]? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. When questioned about the greatest commandments 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g] Jesus asks the people “whose son is the Messiah” and quotes Psalm 110:1. The crowd is *delighted. Jesus warns about the teachers of the law  saying that These men will be punished most severely.”. Jesus sees a widow put all she had in the temple treasury and He calls special attention to what she gave..” All that she had to live on”. gospel_of_mark_chapter_10-19_bible_illustrations_by_sweet_media

In chapter 13 : Jesus talks about the signs of His coming again. It’s really extensive.28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it[d] is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Jesus says that only the Father knows the day and time, no one else. Jesus tells His disciples to keep watch, as He told them , He tells us all to “keep watch, be alert, be on the lookout and not be deceived”.

In chapter 14: Jesus is anointed by an unnamed woman at Bethany. Judas agrees to betray Jesus. Jesus sends 2 disciples to find the furnished, upstairs room, which has been set apart for Jesus and His disciples to celebrate the Passover. Jesus institutes the *new covenant. Jesus predicts His disciples running away and Peter denying Him. Jesus and His disciples to the garden of Gethsemane and taking Peter, James and John aside, Jesus is sorrowful and pleads with the Father to take the cup away from Him, but also says “not His (Jesus’) will be done but the Father’s”. 3 times they fall asleep and then Jesus wakes them up to see His betrayer. Jesus is arrested and the ear of the servant of the priest is cut off by a disciple. 51 A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, 52 he fled naked, leaving his garment behind. Jesus is brought before the Sanhedrin and the chief priests and teachers of the law try to find false witnesses but even their testimonies don’t agree. Finally the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One? 62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” They use Jesus’ declaration of Himself to convict Him. Peter denies Jesus 3 times.

In chapter 15: Jesus is brought before Pilate. “Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “You have said so,” Jesus replied. The crowd demands Jesus’ crucifixion. The soldiers mock Jesus and put a crown of thorns on His head. 21 A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. Jesus is crucified around 9 in the morning with a charge against Him that read “King of the Jews” ( in another gospel it mentions that this was written in 3 languages). The soldiers divide Jesus’ clothes by casting lots. 2 criminals are crucified with Jesus. The people passing by mock Him and tell Him to save Himself. At noon darkness covered the land until 3 when Jesus *died. The temple curtain is torn in two from top to bottom 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died,[c] he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”. Some *women watched from a distance. Joseph of Arimathea who was waiting for the kingdom of God himself, asked Pilate for Jesus’ body. Pilate is surprised because Jesus died in a few hours (when crucifixion takes days), after confirming with a centurion, Pilate gives Joseph the body. Joseph rolls Jesus in a linen cloth and puts the body in a tomb, and Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus see where He is laid. 

In chapter 16:  On the first day of the week after Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.  They worry about who will roll away the stone. They look up and see the tomb is already open. They go in and see a young man dressed in white on the right side who tells them “Jesus has risen, He is not here, go and tell His disciples and Peter that He is going to Galilee , you will see Him there just as He told you”. The women run away terrified.

This is the end of the gospel of Mark in the earliest manuscripts.  

Some other manuscripts have this portion added.When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

*21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

*Jesus meets a rich man who wants to know what he has to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells him to keep the commandments, which the young man had kept from his childhood. Jesus then sees him and loves him and then tells him to sell all he has and give it to the poor. The rich man goes away sorrowful and the disciples marvel and wonder who can enter the kingdom of God. Jesus then replies, “with man it is impossible but not with God”.

*In the gospel of Matthew, it mentions that it is the mother of James and John who makes this request. Here it mentions the brothers themselves. This is not a contradiction. Remember each book was written by different people, and different people remember an exact event differently.

*Bartimaeus shouts out :Son of David, have mercy on me” he is rebuked, and shouts out all the louder. Jesus hears him, and sends someone for him. Jesus asks Bartimaeus what he wants, he replies “I want to see” and Jesus says his faith ahs healed him, and Bartimaeus gains his sight.

*The parable of the Vineyard is directed at the priests. It’s about a Master who planted a vineyard and gave it to tenants and then moved away. When He sent servants to collect what the Master was owed, some were beaten, some were killed, some were treated shamefully. Then the Master sent His Son and His Heir assuming they would treat Him with respect. The tenants kill the Son. Then Jesus mentions that The Master will come and kill the tenants and give it to someone else to maintain. Here Jesus prophesies using a parable.

*I think the crowd is delighted because Jesus stumped the priests. They may have been a few people who truly believed, but I think the majority of them did not care about what Jesus was teaching or saying. Remember within a week of this happening, the crowd turns on Jesus (stirred up by the priests) and demand His crucifixion.

*Many scholars believe this unnamed woman was Mary ( the sister of Martha and Lazarus of Bethany). But even though she is not named in the Bible, she and what she did are mentioned. She had an expensive alabaster jar of nard, she broke it and poured it over Jesus’ head. When rebuked by the people gathered (that it could have been sold and the money given to the poor), Jesus tells them to “leave her alone. She has done a beautiful thing. She anointed Him for His burial. The poor we will always have with us”.

*The New covenant. Jesus tells the disciples to eat bread and remember His body broken for them. They are to drink wine and remember His blood poured out for them, for the forgiveness of sins. This is what we do when we take communion. We remember His death and His atonement for us. And we rejoice in His resurrection. And we await His coming again.

*Some scholars that this is Mark, the author of the gospel, who wrote himself into the narrative in Mark 14: 51-52.

*When Jesus died, 34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).[b] 35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.” 36 Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said. 37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

*Women who are mentioned here, Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph,[d] and Salome. 41 In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.

 

Whew!!!! Mark is the shortest gospel, but writing a summary of it sure did not feel like it! It’s so full of action and details that I felt important, I honestly could not choose which to include and which to leave out 🙂 I’m going to take the advice of a few friends (Liv Campbell and Vanessa Grace, both writers as well) and further condense the summaries of these books of the Bible, with links to the original. Since I’ve finished four books of the Bible now, I’ll going to write condensed versions next and then pick up with Leviticus from the Old Testament. Hopefully you’ll join along with me and continue to be amazed at God’s thoughtfulness, His attention to detail and His faithfulness. I’d love to hear from you about your favourite  verse/ chapter/ book in the Bible. Till next week,

Vanessa.