Category Archives: No Other Gods 2019

When experiencing technical difficulties, there really is only one place to turn <3

www.laurareimer.net

Well I feel I have lived a much longer period of my life than 24 hours since we last visited. 

If you read yesterday’s post, I asked for prayer for me as I tackled an issue with the website and have mercy…the Lord answered but not in the ways you may have expected nor did I hope. 

Because my idea of the answers would have been smooth sailing and a quick fix and on we go, but instead the whole operation was filled with my heart racing, my mind spinning, tears, angst, a message that said “This website is experiencing technical difficulties.” in tiny, plain type with nary a beautiful photograph to be seen and a final act of surrender where I basically came to terms with the realization that it was time to yet again to lay this little slice of the world wide web at the feet of the King of the World. 

And there is a whole lot of beautiful things that happened where four little pairs of eyes took in their Lola’s meltdown and rallied around her in ways that are too precious to even begin to expose to you…and the love of my husband and friends who dropped to their knees and prayed me through…and a song by Hillsong about New Wine that led me to the place where I was able to say…this whole blog thing…it’s Yours, God…and yes, you can take it or give it back…but it’s Yours. 

So this morning as I opened up my plethora of devotionals and such and began to pour out all the thoughts and such in my journal, I ended up with a Psalm of praise that God penned through me and that is what I will share with you today:

Lord, I worship You for who You are. 

As I drove through the fields of corn and beans and sunset last night to get home, the song playing was about how everything belongs to You. 

It doesn’t belong to You because, as a believer I say it does. 

And it doesn’t not belong to You when the world laughs at the whole concept. 

It just does. 

Whether we believe it or not, the world belongs to You and all that is in it is made by Your Hand. 

Period. 

End of story. 

This is Your world. 

And in that realization, Lord, I drove and took in the fields so wide and full of crops and the endless blue sky with the sun setting and yet rising again somewhere in the distance for other people…and I thought about all the current situations including a website experiencing technical difficulties and what that might mean for me..and a pile of merchandise that needs processing and a house that needs a good cleaning…and zero time to get it all done…and I worshipped. 

Because it’s all Yours. 

All of it.

And so am I.

What confounds me and frustrates me and overwhelms me doesn’t phase You in the least.

I do not need to apprise you of the situation, yet You lean forward and listen to me much in the same way we lean forward and listen to a child telling us in choking sobs about what happened on the playground. 

You already know the end from the beginning, yet You listen to me and hold me in the middle. 

I praise You, not for what You will do, but for who You are and who You are is what makes me who I am <3 

Tuesday check in <3

www.laurareimer.net

First off I have to acknowledge the specialness of this day in our family as we celebrate the birth of our first child, Rachel. 

We are so thankful for her and the ways she loves not only her little tribe but us and her siblings and so many others.

Growing up, she was always the quietest of our three…but she loves fierce and she has a quick wit that makes us all laugh so hard and an eloquent way of expressing herself in words and prayer that moves me to fits of both tears and giggles…simultaneously. 

So Happy Birthday Dachel <3 

You are deeply and dearly loved.

Second, I am dragging out finishing the No Other Gods study because it is just soooo good and sooooo rich. 

Like this nugget that I have been chewing on for two days now…found in Day 3 of the final week of the study. 

Deuteronomy 6:23 “He brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land that he promised on oath to our forefathers”

Kelly says regarding this passage:

“Leaving our idols is not the final goal. We leave them so we can experience the fullness of Christ who is our life!…We make room for God to fill it. We say goodbye to say hello.”

No Other Gods Study page 173 Kelly Minter

I couldn’t help but think of the passage in 1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you OUT of darkness INTO his wonderful light. 

Called us out…to bring us in…

So many love the darkness now. 

In fact they are dragging their darkness out into the open and embracing it.

But it is still darkness. 

Remember today that He called you out of it…to bring you in.

Live in the light that you were brought into. 

No matter what. 

The darkness may not be able to comprehend the light, or love the light, or want the light….but darkness cannot put out the light.

Light always invades the darkness and overcomes <3

It’s that time of year again <3

www.laurareimer.net

All week long on social media I have seen pictures of kiddos heading back to school around the country. All ages and stages as parents are sending preschoolers through college age (and some of us now have children who are TEACHERS going back to school!) with their back packs and dorm rooms and such. 

This morning our family text thread came through with our two little guys laden with first day of school supplies and headed off and I have to say they look quite ready though the picture seemed a little blurry but that may have been from some watery matter in my own eyes as I zoomed in on their faces. 

It is human nature to reminisce back to our time sending little ones off and this memory has been popping in my head so will share. 

Somewhere in Rachel’s first foray into the halls of education, I had the habit when I picked her up of asking her if she had a good day. 

Her answer was rarely a resounding yes.

Mostly it had just been ok and sometimes it was not good at all. 

I would listen to whatever stories she felt like telling, which were scant on details and never as fully fleshed out as I would have loved to hear so I could analyze and counsel and all the things annoying moms like me tend to do. 

The next morning I would send her off with “I hope you have a good day!” and I would pray for God to bless her with a good day but at pickup time, it was usually just ok. 

This went on for a long enough period of time that I began to ask God why oh why could this little one not have a good day most days, and He answered my question with a question which I notice He seems to take great pleasure in doing. 

As I queried Him on this subject, I felt the response was…”Did YOU have a good day, Laura?”

Well..I said…it was ok.

Really?

Yes…because most of my days were a mixed bag.

Great moments, good moments, hard moments, frustrating moments, downright awful moments all blended in between a whole lot of just ordinary moments. 

And when I averaged it out at the end of the day it was … ok. 

So as I sat pondering this perspective, I felt the nudge that perhaps instead of praying for her to have a “good” day every day, I pray for the ways God might meet her in the various moments and that He would strengthen her in the tough ones and teach her in the awkward ones and protect her in the bad ones..etc etc.

I also realized that I was letting her experiences define my success. 

I had begun to equate my sole purpose as raising a child who had nothing but good days. I thought about how much pressure I seemed to putting on her because I felt like I had failed if she was not happy. 

Oh dear. 

As if my whole purpose and existence depended on the happiness of our children. 

Wow. 

That’s a lot of pressure on another human being, right? 

As I have had the opportunity to go through Kelly Minter’s “No Other Gods” study for the second time this summer (did it the first time in 2016), I see that this is one of my areas of struggle that will probably never completely go away.

It is the place where I am prone to set up an idol, and thus a place I have to be vigilant to clean house on a regular basis. 

I am so thankful for the painful process God works me through every time I take the right and godly gift of being a mom to three people and turn it into the basis for my existence and give it place in my heart that is only meant for God. 

I love them with a fierce love, but they are not MINE. 

They are the children the Lord has blessed Russ and I to bear and to raise and to encourage and support…but their lives belong to the One who gave them to us to parent…not to own, worship or place our identity in. 

Each of us struggles with different temptations to make good things our gods. 

It is worthwhile to ask God to reveal them to us and then to cooperate in the painful process of putting them in right perspective and priority. 

Checking in as we transition <3

www.laurareimer.net

I am getting a late start to everything today.

This body suddenly felt all of her 61 years and one month this morning and I did something I rarely do.

I crawled back under the covers and woke up an hour later feeling a bit more rested and thankful for a husband who doesn’t begrudge me the luxury of this when he headed off to do what he has done lo these many years to keep us in food and clothing.

Then I took a sweet forever to do my devotions and I watched the final video for No Other Gods and it was so good.

She talked about abiding/remaining in Christ, the True Vine and I couldn’t help but think of our little visit through Psalm 91 last week.

I sat here in front of my computer taking notes and wiping tears.

As she talked about what it is to abide and remain and how we almost don’t have concrete words to explain it, I thought about what it has meant to me to abide in Him.

In practical ways it has meant that over all the days of my life, even when I have wandered or been highly distracted…even when I have set up little g gods that kind of, sort of helped alleviate some discomfort or seemed to be more manageable to try and achieve what I thought were good plans for me and mine….I have found all roads lead back to Him.

www.laurareimer.net

Whether it is a slow descent into old thought patterns around 3:00 in the afternoon or a step by casual step in the wrong direction that took some major work to correct and several recalculations to get back on track…the deepest desire of my heart is always to return to Him.

He has never failed me.

He loved me and chose me before I even knew to choose Him.

His promises are filled with hope and life and truth.

Like King David I can say…one day as door keeper for His house is better than ten thousand anywhere else in the universe.

He exceeds my best ideas and expectations and without Him I can do nothing that will be of lasting value.

He is the Beginning and End of all the stories.

He is my life.

Praise Him <3

To meditate on something that really matters <3

www.laurareimer.net

This morning I came across a reference to Psalm 119: 15-16 in a devotion about how King David would seek God’s wisdom when making decisions and plans. 

As I looked at the passage and then wrote it down in my journal, I began circling words to look up and study a bit more deeply. 

The first line says:

I will meditate on your precepts.

I took a pause and looked up the word precepts, because while I think I know what it means….I really don’t know that I have a grasp of it.

For all the word nerds, here is what I found:

To command; any command or order intended as an authoritative rule of action; but applied particularly to commands respecting moral conduct. 

KJV commentary

and also this take:

A commandment, an authoritative rule for action, a divine injunction in which man’s obligation is set forth.

BibleStudyTools.com

So basically, a precept is some kind of directly worded commandment that is grounded in authority and calls for action on the part of the one being commanded. 

Clearly being told what to do, by the one who has the authority to tell you to do it and the obligation of response on your part to do it.

Putting in human terms.

When your mom tells you to make your bed every morning before you go to school…she has the authority as the mom to command you to do it, the expectation that you can and will do it and you have the obligation to make follow that instruction every day.

When your boss tells you that the work day starts at 8 AM, ends at 5 PM, you get a half hour for lunch and no surfing the internet, he/she has the right to give you those instructions and you have the responsibility and capability of doing them. 

My next question would be, where do we start looking for the precepts that David meditated on and the first answer I found was the Ten Commandments. 

As Christians we are alarmed when these are removed from public places, and we certainly have our favorites that we pull up to defend what we believe to be right and true….however, in full disclosure…as I look at them this morning, I move no farther past the first four and find myself harking back to David’s Psalm.

I meditate on these:

1. Do not have other gods besides Me

2. Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth

3. Do not bow in worship before them, and do not serve them

4. Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God

There are a myriad of reasons why idol worship is not a good idea. 

It robs us of the fellowship and relationship of the only God, the one who made us, formed us…loved us before we knew Him…the only One Worthy of glory and honor and praise and adoration.

But it would seem the main reason we look only to Him, worship only Him, honor His name with our mouths, hearts, minds and bodies is obedience.

OBEDIENCE

He has commanded us to do so. 

And if that rubs a rough spot in you, perhaps you have found a place where you have set up some kind of false or functional god.

If something within us still wants to be the one who controls what, how, when we worship…even if we say it’s God we want to worship…we may be bowing down to an idol we formed and fashioned by our own making. 

We may be harboring some old place of serving something or someone other than our God.

Mediate on those four “precepts” today and let the Spirit of the living God work in your heart and soul today. 

Before we move on to the other six commandments and demand those around us to adhere to them, maybe it would be good to do a heart check on our own level of obedience to the first four <3