Author Archives: dionak1

Numbers 30; Psalm 74; Isaiah 22; 2 Peter 3

Again, the Lord speaks to me of what I need. After perusing 2 Peter 3, I thought to write about my thoughts on the end times. But after prayer and rereading the today’s passages, the Lord gave me a specific, personal message. I am, first of all, both surprised and grateful for his care of me. Should I be surprised? No. But I am once again stunned that he pays such personal attention to me.

He tells me who I am in his eyes. He reminds me that he is with me. He knows that people roll their eyes at the choices I make in following him. He knows that some people laugh at what I value. There are, of course, people who roll their eyes and laugh at Jesus.

There are the mockers:

“How long will the enemy mock you, O God? Will the foe revile your name forever?” Psalm 74:10

There are the scoffers:

“First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.” 2 Peter 3:3

What should my response be as I walk among those who mock and scoff? I will stand upright and steady. I will be confident in my God and the choices I make to follow him.   I will continue, as Peter tell us, to do my best to live a holy and godly life.

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of god and speed its coming.” 2 Peter 3:10-12a

Dear Lord, Thank you for caring so deeply for me and for your personal attention to me. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and awe. Help me to live a holy and godly life, confidently standing in your grace. I pray for those who mock and scoff, that they may see you and come to know you. Amen

Diona

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Numbers 15; Psalm 51; Isaiah 5; Hebrews 12

My head is so full of my daily responsibilities that I am having trouble remembering the simplest things. Just the other day, I had to ask my daughter what our zip code is. I’ve lived in this house for 17 years.

In the midst of all the data in my head, there is a space for God. However, I am prone to following my own desires. God knew that we would struggle, that we would trip up. To help the Israelites remember to obey him, he instructed them to wear tassels.

“When you see the tassels, you will remember and obey all the commands of the Lord instead of following your own desires and defiling yourselves, as you are prone to do.  The tassels will help you remember that you must obey all my commands and be holy to your God.  I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt that I might be your God.  I am the Lord your God.”  Numbers 15:39-41 (NLT)

God instructed the Israelites to wear a visual reminder of him. God gave me a way to remember him, a way to know that he is the Lord my God. He gave me Jesus. My reminder is Jesus.

“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God.”  Hebrews 12:1(b)-2 (NIV)

I am to fix my eyes on Jesus. Just as the Israelites eyes saw tassels, my eyes need to be focused on Jesus.

Even though as a follower of Jesus I am not under the Old Testament law, the idea of a “help” appeals to me. Something small to wear, that is just between me and Jesus, to remind me to refocus on him throughout my day. So that when I am thinking about making dinner, shopping lists, reading lists, and tomorrow’s schedule … I can remember to pause to pray, or read a Bible verse, or simply ponder Jesus.

Dear Jesus, Thank you for blessing me with a full life.  Help me to fix my eyes on you and keep them on you.   Amen

Diona          

 

 

 

 

 

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Leviticus 27; Psalm 34; Ecclesiastes 10; Titus 2

This weekend I’ll be attending a huge convention (8 hours away!) to hear encouragement and to get instruction in my current calling.  I am a mom of four and homeschooling two of them.  I will be traveling with a woman who has more experience than I in mothering and homeschooling – a just slightly older woman.

I have been blessed by many older women in my walk with Jesus.  Both women who are a generation older and women who are just a few years older.  All of them sent by God to instruct, to encourage, to gently correct.  All of them loving me in their own unique

“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.  Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”  Titus 2:12 (NIV)

By age I am no longer a young woman, yet I am not an old woman.  I still in many ways identify with the young woman described in Titus.  Maybe because I am still raising my children.  I can certainly improve in the areas identified for the younger women.

I also hope to one day be the older woman.  The woman who will be a blessing from God to younger women.  The woman who takes a younger woman by the hand and says:

“Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.”  Psalm 34:3 (NIV)

All of these things made possible only by and through the grace of God.

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…”  Titus 2:12 (NIV)

My bible notes that the word translated “teaches” in this verse refers to more than instruction.  It includes the whole process of training a child – instruction, encouragement, correction and discipline.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for teaching me how to be a godly woman.  Thank you for the people and experiences that you have given me to instruct, encourage, correct and discipline me.  Thank you for older women who have helped me.  At the right time, place younger women in my path who I can help to train in your ways.  Amen 

Diona

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Leviticus 13; Psalms 15, 16; Proverbs 27; 2 Thessalonians 1

“As in water the face is reflected as a face, so a person’s heart reflects the person.”  Proverbs 27:19 (NET)

Dear Heavenly Father,

My heart needs work.  It needs the kind of work that only you can do.

You look into my heart and you see who I really am.  You see what I love and value.  You see what I am passionate about.  You see where I am flawed, where I am broken.  You see my true character.

I hear you knocking on the door into my heart, asking me to let you in.

I listen to a podcast.  Knock, knock.  I read a section of a book.  Knock, knock.  I listen to a different podcast.  Knock, knock.  I read a quote from a Roman ruler.  Knock, knock.

Yes, Lord, I let you in.

As You change my heart, give me the ability to act in accordance with those changes.  I lift up to You a prayer similar to Paul’s prayer for the saints in Thessalonica:

“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.  We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (NIV)

Enable me live a life worthy of your call.  By your power, help me to accomplish the good things your faith prompts me to do.  Let the name of the Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way I live.  By the grace of my God and Lord, Jesus Christ.  (Adapted from New Living Translation)

Amen

Diona

 

 

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Exodus 37; John 16; Proverbs 13; Ephesians 6

I had an overwhelming experience recently.  I felt a prompting by the Spirit, obeyed the call, and prayed.  This was no ordinary, checklist kind of prayer.  It was a led by the Spirit kind of prayer.  And I became in that moment a participant with Him in the Kingdom.

Through the Spirit, God asked something of me.  Through the Spirit, I obeyed.

I was blown away by this experience.  I am eager for another.

I have had similar moments in the past, although it’s been a long time since the last one.  I wonder why it’s been so long.  I wonder if it’s my openness to the Spirit or if it’s my willingness to obey, or both.

I think this is what Paul meant when he wrote in Ephesians that we are to pray in the Spirit:

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.  Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.   Ephesians 6:18 (NLT)

I am so very thankful that Jesus sent the Spirit.

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.  He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.  He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.  All that belongs to the Father is mine.  That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”  John 16:13-15 NIV

Dear Lord, I am in such awe of the work of the Spirit.  Thank you for giving each and every believer in you a personal guide into truth.  Help me to have an open and willing heart to obey your promptings.  May I bring glory to you through my actions.  Let your love flow through me to others.  Amen

Diona

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Exodus 23, John 2, Job 41, 2 Corinthians 11

Other gods and false prophets.  Everywhere messages to follow something or someone other than Jesus.

I turn on the tv – other gods prevail.  I open my internet browser – other gods call me.  I step out of my house into the world – other gods everywhere.

My email bombards me with advertisements for religious material.  It is not always easy to tell which materials are true teachings and which are false.  Family and friends have been deceived and are living under the influence of false prophets.

God knows my weaknesses.  Jesus understands my heart.

“But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people.  He did not need anyone to testify about man, for he knew what was in a man.”  John 2:24-25 (NET)

When God gave instructions to the Israelites, He told them specifically how to deal with other gods.  He knew them well.

“You must not bow down to their gods; you must not serve them or do according to their practices.  Instead you must completely overthrow them and smash their standing stones to pieces.”  Exodus 23:24

The apostle Paul writes about the church being led astray by false prophets.

“But I am afraid that just as the serpent deceived Eve by his treachery, your minds may be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.  For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus different from the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit than the one you received, or a different gospel than the one you accepted, you put up with it well enough!” 2 Corinth 11:3-5 (NET)

God knows, yes, He knows.  I am weak and am bombarded by messages to follow something else, anything else.  Yet I know, yes, I know, how very much God loves me.

Dear Lord, Reveal to me any place where I am serving something other than Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.  Protect me from outside influences.  Show me how to live in the world, and not succumb to the gods of this world.  Show me how to be Your light in the darkness, without succumbing to the darkness.  May I serve You – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – to bring You glory.

Diona

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Exodus 9; Luke 12; Job 27; 1 Corinthians 13

It’s so easy for me to become stagnant.  To go about my usual routines – washing dishes, doing laundry, preparing meals, cleaning the kitchen again.  Getting the kids where they need to be.  The never ending and often repetitious list of chores and errands to manage my home and family.

Some days I grumble through it all.

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”  Luke 12:48

That is a whole lot of “much.”  God has given me a husband to be a blessing to.  A home to be care for.  Children to train up and develop in character.

It is good for me to periodically reflect on what I do with what I have been given.  And the attitude in which I do it.  Do I pour love into everything I do?  Even if I feel like no one sees it?

The passage in Corinthians is so often repeated that my eyes skip it my first reading through, even second:

“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-7

It seems to me an impossible standard … to love this way.  Even in the boring, in the repetitious, in the inconvenient, in the exhaustion.  The simple truth hits me that the only way to love is to consistently and persistently rely on Jesus.

Where much is demanded, love is demanded.  Where much is asked, love is asked.

Dear Lord, You have entrusted so much into my care.  Help me to remember that you see all that I do, even when no one else notices.  I cannot truly love in my own power.  I can love only in Your Power.  Pour forth your love into my heart so that it overflows into my home.  Amen

Diona

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