Author Archives: dionak1

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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Genesis 45; Mark 15; Job 11; Romans 15

I am a perpetual planner.  I like to dream, set goals and make plans.  But then usually something comes along that I never would have seen coming.  The direction of my path changes.  And I learn a little bit more about how to trust God.

Today’s readings remind me that God has a time for all things.  He knows everything that has happened and everything that will happen.

Joseph recognizes that God’s hand placed him in this position at the right time.

“And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.  For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping.  But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by great deliverance.”  Genesis 45:5-7

Paul waits for the time to be right to go to Rome.  He knows that God has not sent him there yet and wait for God’s blessing before he goes.

“This is why I have often been hindered from coming to you.”  15:22

“I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ.”  15:29

After many, many years of human existence, Jesus came to save us all.  After only three years of ministry, it is finished.

“At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour.” Luke 15:33

“With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.  The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” Luke 15: 37-38

Dear Lord, I have faith that you know what is best for all your children. I want to trust in you.  I also like to make plans.  Help me to be patient and wait on you.    Arise in me desires to fulfill your plans, not only for myself but guide me in assisting the people around me.  Amen

Diona

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Genesis 30, Matthew 1; Esther 6; Romans 1

What is God up to?  Where is God in this?  I find myself often asking these questions.  In my small little world, my vision is limited to a narrow tunnel.  I know that I cannot see what God sees.  I only see my small little piece and even that is foggy.

But I have faith that God is always at work.  He is timeless and all-knowing.  He works in eternity and in the details.

God is at work throughout all of history.  God has the long view.  The genealogy of Jesus, laid out in Matthew 1:1-17, shows that God was there all along, working it out for us.  It reveals names that may be surprising.  Although we know how well God uses imperfect people.

God is at work when it seems like a coincidence.  Just when things looked really bad for Mordecai, God orchestrated him being honored as a hero.

“That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him.  It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bogthana and Tersh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.”  (Esther 6:1-2)

God is at work regardless of our human attempts to manage.  In Jacob’s story, clearly only God could make Jacob’s flocks have offspring of different coloring.  Jacob’s attempt was futile.

“Jacob, however, took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches…When the flocks were in heat and came to drink, they mated in front of the branches.  And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted.”  (Genesis 30:37-39)

Dear Lord, I am comforted to read about the ways that you work in our lives.  Clear the fog of my vision so that I can more clearly recognize the evidence of your work.  Let me see you in the midst of my days.  I have faith that you are at work always.

Diona

 

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