Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Posted by jennyhope at 12:37 PM
Hold the phone! I was reading in Numbers 11 this morning when this verse (or verses) stuck out like a sore thumb:
4 The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, "If only we had meat to eat! 5 We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. 6 But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!" (emphasis mine)
Who in the world are the rabble I asked myself? This word rabble (in the NIV) is only mentioned twice in the bible and I had never heard it before. Where have I been?
Websters defines rabble as the following:
2 a: a disorganized or disorderly crowd of people
"The source of discontent is identified as "the rabble" (v. 4), referring to the foreigners who had come out of Egypt with the Israelites (Ex 12:38). Since they were not Hebrews, they had no personal attachment to God and His promises. They were tired of manna and remembered only the food which was formerly available to them in Egypt, forgetting all the reasons for fleeing. They were held in low esteem by the Israelites, but God's people allowed themselves to be influenced by their grumbling." (taken from my Key Word Study Bible)
One of my commentaries referred to the rabble as the "mixed company" that left Egypt with the Hebrew people.
I have written on the subject of forgetfulness in regards to sins slavery in the past, but I can't help but go there again when I read this passage.
First I want to share a couple of points that stood out to me:
1. We are influenced by the people around us and this world system more than we realize. The "haves" of this world greatly entice our cravings. When we decide to get our advice and satisfaction from "mixed company" we set ourselves up for discontentment and sins slavery. When I say mixed company I mean being unequally yoked and seeking advice and contentment from the ideals of the secular world around us. How many times have you seen an ad for something that you didn't know that you needed and it incited a want in you and you had to have that thing and then your affections for whatever it was that you now needed influenced your feet? In other words you had to have what someone else said you needed to be happy and you did what it took to try to achieve that momentary high. But the problem is the temporary fix that it gave you was only temporary.
2. We become like the people we hang with. Perfect example...the Hebrews were mixed in with the rabbles and the rabbles started complaining and grumbling and so did God's chosen people. Just like joy, and passion for the Lord is contagious...so is a critical complaining spirit. Grumbling and complaining is sin and yet we do it so often because we feel so justified in it. It only breeds more discontentment and negativity. What happens when we begin to grumble and complain is that we focus more on our problem than who God is. We focus on what we don't have instead of what we have been blessed with. I had someone in my life who continually spoke doubt and discouragement into my life in the area of trusting God for His provision and on two separate occasions I had to tell this person that I was not going to get on their worry train and I was going to trust God. Just like how sin permeates like yeast in a batch of dough, so does grumbling and complaining. It can breed so many consequences causing bitterness to spring up. So pull that weed out before it takes over the whole garden.
(I had a day today where I found myself griping and complaining about everything and it just made me feel miserable...not to mention probably Rod and little Morgan as well.)
Also, you see in this passage the tendency that we all have. I have been through a lot of tough things in my life. I can remember one really hard season (I am about to get generic so you can relate with your own stuff) where I had to let something go. I really thought that letting go was going to be the death of me. In some ways this thing that I had to move on from functioned as an idol for me. I began to try to find my worth in the way the whole thing panned out. The thing tore me down and I was in a constant struggle in my mind, my emotions, and I began to feel extremely low in the self-esteem department...mixed with a whole lot of anxiety over certain situations. The bottom line...I was in my own land of slavery. When I began to cooperate with God and allow Him to perform heart surgery and pry my hands off of this idol...I began to see such liberation and freedom in my life. Don't get me wrong it was mixed with pain. Later on, after I had been a couple of years removed from the whole situation I began to "forget" how enslaving the whole thing was. I even began to think oh maybe "that" would have been better when some of my situations in life went awry. I even felt at times like the path to obedience was just too hard and man so many people had it so much easier than me...what a lie. The Lord has allowed me to be marked forever with certain reminders to hopefully keep me from ever wanting to go back down to the land that He delivered me from. I would rather die than be the fool returning to my folly because His ways are best and so often I have learned that the hard way (and when I say the HARD WAY I mean every word of it...I have been on one field trip of stupidity after another but the lessons I think are now starting to stick...God is for us...always).
You know the story of the back breaking slavery, the loss of the baby boys, and that the Hebrews were in bondage. The Lord leads them out after many plagues and they had the Lord literally leading them with a cloud by day and fire by night. He was their reward, and He was their provision in the wilderness. If they needed to know where to go they just followed the cloud or the fire. The fire protected them from the deadly pestilence and met their physical needs. And I am sure the cloud provided them relief from the scorching heat. But guess what? They got mixed in with the rabbles and that was not good enough. They were now sick of the manna in other words sick of Gods kind of provision for them. They forgot their slavery and only remembered the food they had there and longed to go back. So you can read on in Numbers 11. God gave them their request. They would have so much quail it would be coming out of their ears.
Again so I don't make this too long...be wise about the company you keep. If you are in a place where you feel like life hasn't turned out like you thought...then tell Him. Ask Him for a thankful heart and more of the Spirit running over in your life. He is good and you do not have because you do not ask. Also, when the tests in life come seek to learn from them. Some of the hardest times in my life have been the best times because I literally was forced to depend on the Lord and see Him work in miraculous ways. I was not allowed to depend on my own strength or provision. Also, don't give up. No matter what you have done...no matter what has been dealt to you...keep fighting the good fight. Lets not forget where He has delivered us from and brought us to. Lets not forget what He has done for us and lets not neglect His word. That is the way in which He leads us today. He is the word made flesh. Thank you for your sweet word Lord. Don't let me be handed over to my own selfish desires. Let me live trusting and abiding in the shelter of the Most High. When I do complain help me to resist running to others but let me run to You and pour out my complaint to the One who is Safe. Give me more of Your Spirit. I am so desperate for You.
13 But they soon forgot what he had done
and did not wait for his counsel.
14 In the desert they gave in to their craving;
in the wasteland they put God to the test.
15 So he gave them what they asked for,
but sent a wasting disease upon them.
Posted by jennyhope at 11:48 AM
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Wow! This is extremely strange and weird. I will give them that! There will be a resurrection of the dead for these earthly bodies (see 1 Corinthians 15) I just hate that it will be thru her fecal matter (sorry...but it's just really strange). WHEW! Help her Lord!
Posted by jennyhope at 11:37 PM
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
Israel Unrepentant1 “Come, let us return to the LORD.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.
2 After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.
3 Let us acknowledge the LORD;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.”
Over the years I have had more conversations about why "so and so" wants nothing to do with Jesus. Normally, almost every time, it is because they have the idea that Jesus is the great killjoy and that life in Christ is all about what you can't do as if we who are in Christ are all martyrs when it comes to any kind of pure joy or fun. There are some things that we just plain need to stay away from and I am not denying that because the bottom line is that just because something is permissible doesn't mean it is beneficial.
1 Corinthians 10:23The Believer’s Freedom 23 “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive.
Case in point: I come from a long line of addiction in my family. I am the type that would go buck wild in Chuck e Cheese for goodness sake...trying to win tickets for some prize that is worth 2 cents. So, I know that there is NO WAY my tail should ever be in a casino if I can't play skeet ball without losing my witness. It just makes me sad that so many people have seen so much hypocrisy that they want NOTHING to do with the faith. We live in a fallen world and we all struggle in many ways. It grieves me that I am sure I have been a stumbling block by my own sin. I certainly don't want to turn others away from Christ by my witness. However, we can't focus on people and what they do or don't do, while I am not discounting the importance of our actions or consequences to our sins. I am thankful for the words of psalm 130 and that if the Lord kept a record of sins NONE of us could stand...but with Him there is forgiveness therefore He is feared and we have to put our hope in that. This morning Morgan and I were getting ready for church and we were late because as we were getting ready we with hair brushes in hand, and our praise music blaring, were dancing away in the bathroom getting our praise on. I couldn't help but hope that Blair will be joining in during the years to come. I want to raise these babies up to know Him and to know that while blessing comes from obedience and that God tells us No to some things because He is God and He knows the affects sin has on us and in essence how harmful some things are...that there are some clear Yes's in Christ. There is joy and abundance to be had. I want them to know that while He is completely other and holy that He is also fun! I want us to be able to dance before Him like David did!As Israel was unfaithful to the Lord and grumbled and rebelled against Him we to can fall into that rut and join in with the rabble in our own wilderness or wastelands spiritually speaking. We all go through desolate times where we feel like we are wanderers in an endless dry desert where there is no water to be found. Yet let us return to the Lord no matter the time that has gone by. Let us let Him redeem the time lost because He will. He wants to. He is a God of full redemption and let us dance in the dry desert even when we feel our strength is gone until He opens our eyes to a well springing up before us and we too like Hagar come to know El Roi, the God who sees me and sees you. I desperately need to know that He sees me. That He is so personal and tender with me and that He loves me and you in such an indescribable way. He is worthy of our affection and our lives. To miss Him is to miss everything.
He is life. So break out your hairbrush why don't you and sing before the Lord and dance. Even if you were raised baptist where you weren't supposed to dance. If this white girl can do it...so can you! LOL
Friday, August 26, 2011
RODERICK "BLAIR" WILLIAMS, JR.
It wouldn't be fitting if I didn't introduce my little guy to you! He has totally stolen my heart! The Lord is so wise and I am so thankful for the opportunity to steward this baby boy! I could seriously eat him up. I am so thankful that the Lord gives us such depth of emotion because I would rather open my heart wide and drink deep of the love, pain, and vulnerability of life than close myself off because of the fear that comes with it all. I didn't think it possible to love another one like my Morgs, but the Lord proved me wrong. Let me tell you the boy is a pistol!
He was born at 39 weeks on July 28th (I think...haha) at 2:21am. He weighed 8 lbs and 4 oz. I couldn't believe it! I am so thankful he is FINALLY here! I was pregnant for like 2 years! We were worried Morgs would be jealous but she is as taken with him as we are!
He scared us to death at birth! They lost his vitals because of my mitral valve issues. My blood pressure and heart rate tanked and they had to take me to the O.R. and get him out as fast as possible. Rod didn't even get to come back there and I was completely under when I had him. So thankful that the One who watches over Israel who neither slumbers nor sleeps watches over me and my life is in His hands. I remember asking the doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologist if he was going to be OK and they could offer me no reassurance. They only told me that they were worried about me and had to take care of me first. So thankful they were putting me to sleep as soon as they told me they didn't know about him. Praise God he was fine but the little stinker decided he wasn't going to try to breathe on his own so he received oxygen for 8 minutes and was headed to the NICU. He came home with us after our stay and he is doing great! We love him so!
Posted by jennyhope at 11:39 PM
LILLIAN AVARA (BECKY) HARRIS| Visit Guest Book
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
I have been meaning to write for a while and to say things in my life have been busy is an understatement!
My grandmother, affectionately known as GiGi (which to her stood for gorgeous grandmother. She felt she was too young to be called grandmother with the southern drawl that we pronounced it with. It went graaaaannnd mutherrrrr in really loud tones when we would call for her...so she changed it to GiGi). Morgan never quite figured out who she was and just called her "Aunt GiGi" but I know she appreciated aunt instead of grandmother.
She went to be with Jesus on July 19th 2011. I have spent a lot of time pondering over her life and the years spent with her especially when we were younger and my mom was divorced. Her, my granddad, and uncles were the family that we knew and were raised up with. The Lord used them in so many ways to provide for us. I just moved a couple of weeks ago and it has really given me perspective when it comes to "stuff". This life is just blowing by and so many of the things we pour ourselves so relentlessly into just don't matter. The here and now matters for all of eternity but am I pouring my life out like a drink offering for Christ or am I just living for me and my stuff? It is so sobering to think that if the Lord tarries that we will be having my funeral and as the Lord receives me into Glory, I will take nothing with me.
There is so much more to say but with a four week old and moving...I am about to pass out. My grandmothers funeral is tomorrow so I am going to go and spend some time with Jesus and head to bed before my night shift with Blair starts!
Posted by jennyhope at 11:21 PM