Category Archives: Take Him at His Word

So many voices and only one that matters <3

Happy Monday morning to you! 

After a soggy weekend here in the Midwest, we are enjoying a cold but sunny day. 

Russ has already been out for a walk/run around the block and reported there is, literally, not a cloud in the sky. 

I can attest that the sun is shining full force because it is showing a badly needed window washing project that will have to wait a few more days. 

As I am thinking what to share this morning, I am mulling over the danger of “political correctness” as a guide for my moral behavior and decisions. 

Case in point. 

I have a few hashtags I like to follow on Instagram and one of them is #shoplocal. 

Through this hashtag, I get a glimpse of small businesses all around the country and the world.

I find them interesting and inspiring for the most part, although not all small businesses pander what interests me or even what I agree with, necessarily. 

I pause on the ones I like and scroll past the ones that are not necessarily in line with my tastes or even beliefs. 

But occasionally I see one that is just offensive. 

Instagram offers me the option of “Reporting” or “Don’t show for this hashtag”.

I never report them because that is not my place, but I do choose to ask to be spared any more  along the lines of this kind of advertising by tapping the “don’t show” option. 

However, I do so with a nagging voice in the back of my head suggesting that I am wrong to be offended by something. 

I hear the cynicism of media and talking heads and comedians who make fun of people like me and the Facebook people that just love to carry on arguments on other peoples opinion posts.  

But that is not the voice of God. 

I know what is okay and what is not okay to view on my phone. 

I have been given the right to politely say, “No thank you.”

And in exercising that right, I am not “judging” someone who is fine with receiving the same kind of material. I am not protesting that it exists. 

I am choosing to eliminate it from my personal experience. 

In saying this, I am not suggesting that if I see something that is blatantly exploiting someone  I do not speak up.

I am talking about areas where I know God has set a standard, and the loud, boasting voice of popular culture attempts to drown out His still small voice showing me the way to live like Jesus. 

We may think we are immune to “peer pressure” but the voices of a new “morality” are pretty persuasive right now. 

I pray as God’s people we would continue to train our ears to hear Him say…This is the way. Now walk in it. 

His ways are gracious and merciful and kind, but they also hold to a standard set by Him. 

Stay in the Word as you walk through the world <3 

You are precious to Him. 

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Refined by the Word yet again … ouch

The past few mornings I have been reading in 1 Samuel. 

These are familiar passages, not just because of past years of reading through the Bible. 

Sermons listened to, Sunday school lessons attended and taught, my own pondering of the accounts covering Samuel’s birth and David’s reign plus several Bible studies have opened up deeper and deeper understanding over the years.

Yet every single time I read through 1 Samuel, another layer of scales is removed from my eyes and I see God and humankind, and thus my own flawed self, more clearly. 

Today I have multiple passages starred and some new question marks in the margin, but here is the one I will share with you today. 

First the passage:

The next day an ugly mood was sent by God to afflict Saul, who became quite beside himself, raving. David played his harp, as he usually did at such times. Saul had a spear in his hand. Suddenly Saul threw the spear, thinking, “I’ll nail David to the wall.” David ducked, and the spear missed. This happened twice.

Now Saul feared David. It was clear that God was with David and had left Saul. So, Saul got David out of his sight by making him an officer in the army…Everything David did turned out well. Yes, God was with him. As Saul saw David becoming more successful, he grew more fearful. …But everyone else in Israel and Judah loved David. They loved watching him in action.

1 Samuel 18: 10-16 selected passages The Message

As background for “the next day”, the previous day found David returning victorious from battle and the women of the city poured out to sing how Saul kills by the thousand but David kills by tens of thousand. 

Saul was angry and felt threatened by this younger and more popular warrior. His attitude toward David turned irreversibly at that time. Saul was entering himself into the comparison game and losing.

So we see Saul feeling threatened and this insecurity gives rise to  a violent anger expressed in throwing a spear across the room at David with intent to kill….twice. 

And yet in verse 12, we are told it was Saul who feared David. 

I would think it would be reversed. I imagine if I were in David’s shoes, even just playing an instrument in the presence of a crazy man holding a big old spear would be a little intimidating. 

But nope…it is Saul who is fear-filled. 

Obviously David did not operate in fear, because he showed up another day for the same audience with the same scowling face and the same spear nearby for an encore performance. 

Saul schemes plan after plan to kill David off and by the time we get to verse 29 the fruit of all of this is revealed:

…his (Saul’s) fear of David increased and settled into hate. Saul hated David. 

1 Samuel 18: 29 The Message

We can see the clear progression of this:

Competion leads to Jealousy that leads to Fear that leads to Increased Fear that leads to Hatred.

None of these characteristics are godly. 

We are told not to compare ourselves to others.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.

Phillipians 2:3-4

We are told to not be envious. 

For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

James 3:16

We are told to not fear. 

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:18

We are told to not hate.

But I (Jesus) tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Matthew 5:44

It makes me think about the way the planting of small seeds goes.

Comparison begins in our minds, maybe based on visible evidence, and this leads to envy/jealousy which leads to fear that we won’t get what we think should be ours. This leads to increased fear and finally we dive deep into hatred of the one we think has stolen what was never ours to have.


God’s word really is a sharp knife. 

I am so thankful for it. 

We can reverse the downward descent from comparison to hatred by drawing close to God using the passages above as prayers for Him to make us more like Jesus.

God bless you today and if I stepped on your toes, it was with my own bruised feet, my friend <3

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We who find our strength in God do not seek safety in numbers <3

I have had some time this week to work on Week 6 of the Elijah Study by Priscilla Shirer.

Here is link:!4443!3!489094722710!e!!g!!priscilla%20shirer%20elijah&s_kwcid=AL!4443!3!489094722710!e!!g!!priscilla%20shirer%20elijah!8852748708!116185391656&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhuepzbHs7wIVU_vjBx1tdgjJEAAYASAAEgJdvPD_BwE&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhuepzbHs7wIVU_vjBx1tdgjJEAAYASAAEgJdvPD_BwE&ef_id=EAIaIQobChMIhuepzbHs7wIVU_vjBx1tdgjJEAAYASAAEgJdvPD_BwE:G:s

Yesterday I studied about a misconception Elijah had as he faced the overwhelming odds of true worshippers of Baal and backsliding brothers and sisters who had compromised their faith in God and had blended in with this false god’s followers. 

He felt like he was all alone. 

In 1 Kings 18:22, “Elijah said to the people, ‘I alone am left a prophet of the LORD, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men.’”

He felt alone and greatly outnumbered. 

But he was not. 

For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah took a hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)

1 Kings 18:4

So Ahab sent orders among all the sons of Israel and brought the prophets together at Mount Carmel.

1 Kings 18:20

Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.

1 Kings 19:18

Priscilla points out that even though Elijah felt alone and had to step out alone, he was not alone. 

There were still many who were still devoted to God but they were not speaking out. 


In the study, Priscilla encourages us to each one be willing to step away from any crowd setting and be the only one who speaks the Truth of God. We cannot wait for others to step forward.

We must be willing to do so with or without the support of a crowd.

You may feel alone today in your faith and in your beliefs. 

You are not alone. 

If you don’t know what to say into these times or the circumstances around you, be still…pray…wait for God to bring His power on you. 

But do not fear that you are alone. 

Ask God for eyes to see that there are more with us than with the enemies of God. 

Remain faithful. 

You are precious in His sight. 

Hold fast <3

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