Author Archives: look2thehills

About look2thehills

Happily married to my best friend. Graciously blessed with five children, who I am with God's grace, able to homeschool. Wanting to continue to grow in knowledge and love for my Lord Jesus.

1 Kings 12, Psalm 94, Ezekiel 42, Philippians 3

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010…a day I wish I could do-over.

Expectations not fulfilled, followed by disappointment. Disobedience, followed by disappointment in my own parental reaction. Tears from children and mom. Busy schedule causing a stressed attitude. Dragged out bedtimes, followed by harried preparation for the next day. Repentance. Lessons learned. Blessings counted.

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“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:13b & 14 NIV

Thank you Jesus for winning the prize already. Thank you for Your merciful forgiveness time and time again. Thank you for continuing to call me heavenward towards Your righteousness and glory.

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“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

Philippians 3:12b

“I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from  God is is by faith.”

I want to know Christ….”

Philippians 3:8 – 10a

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So, thanks be to Jesus, that He can take a terrible day and make it into a learning lesson and an opportunity to turn and run towards Him with arms wide open. Nothing that I have to offer, but only humbling taking what He has freely given me.

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“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables Him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.”

Philippians 3:20 & 21

Come quickly Lord Jesus!

– Beckie (look2thehills)

 

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Filed under M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Philippians

2 Samuel 21, Psalm 77, Ezekiel 28, Galatians 1

“Will the Lord reject forever? Will He never show His favor again? Has His unfailing love vanished forever? Has His promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has He in anger withheld His compassion?”

Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all Your works and consider all Your mighty deeds.

Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; You display Your power among the peoples. With Your mighty arm You redeemed Your people, the descendants of  Jacob and Joseph.

Selah

Psalm 77:7 – 15 NIV

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I admit it – sometimes I feel very frustrated with my children. I wonder why they act they way they do.  I wonder if they will ever listen the first time I ask. I wonder if we are even speaking the same language. I wonder what I’m doing wrong as their mother.

As I pondered the verses in Psalm 77 this week, I could see some correlations between my thoughts and the thoughts and feelings expressed by the psalmist, Asaph.

Why is God doing this? Why does it seem like God is not listening?

So what does the psalmist do when he doesn’t understand and can’t explain his current problematic situation? He remembers. He recalls. He mediates on what the Lord has done.

I find myself doing a similar thing with my children too. When I’ve had an especially difficult day with the kids and I wonder if it will ever change, one my favorite things to do is to go in their bedrooms and watch them sleep. To stare at their innocent face and marvel at their beauty. To remember them as babies and realize how fast the time has gone by. To realize that my time with them is so limited. And to vow once again to be more patient and as they grow and mature, even if I can’t make sense of it all.

Basically, count my blessings. Remember what the Lord has given me and treasure it. When I count my blessings, I focus on what God has done and all that He has poured into my life. I focus on the positive and not the negative of the current situation.

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Heavenly Father,

When my life doesn’t seem to make sense and I wonder why things happen, and start to focus on the negative, help me to keep counting my blessings and recall how abundantly You have blessed and led me in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

Yours Forever,

Beckie (look2thehills)


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Filed under M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Old Testament, Psalms

2 Samuel 6, Psalm 55, Ezekiel 14, 1 Corinthians 16

I would venture to say, that almost everyone living in the USA and abroad, probably over the age of  15,vividly remembers what happened on this date 9 years ago. They remember what they were doing when they heard the news. They remember the horrific scenes witnessed on the TV screen.

I remember very distinctly. My 2nd daughter was exactly 4 months old that day. My oldest daughter was 2 years, 4 months and 1 week old. I remember Hannah watching the TV screen with me and then pointing and saying “Fire.” After that I decided to watch the footage when she wasn’t present.

As I was reading Psalm 55 this past week, knowing that I would be posting on 9/11, I couldn’t help but see images of the attacks in the words of David.

“My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught at the voice of the enemy, at the stares of the wicked; for they bring down suffering upon me and revile me in their anger. My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me.” (vs. 2-5)

“…I see violence and strife in the city.” (vs 9b)

“Destructive forces are at work in the city.” (vs 11a)

Why do we have to endure such evil? Why do bad things happen with such a loving God in absolute control?

I don’t even pretend to have the answer, except for the fact that our world and the humans living in it are under the curse of sin and bad things will continue to happen until our Redeemer returns.

What I do know is found in the final 2 verses of Psalm 55.

“Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you…” (vs 22a)

Especially in the last 8 words of the chapter.

“But as for me, I trust in You.” (vs 23b)

Even when our world as a whole, or just my individual world seems to fall apart, I need to keep trusting in God and relying on Him to see me through whatever comes.

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Lord,

The evil in this world stuns me at times. How people can be so cold and calculating is beyond understanding. Help me to give you all my cares and concerns, because You are the only true sustainer of my life and to put my ultimate trust only in You.

Amen

– Beckie (look2thehills)

*Scripture taken from NIV*

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Filed under M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Old Testament, Psalms

1 Samuel 20, Psalm 36, Lamentations 5, 1 Corinthians 2

Our family has spent this whole week watching the vast Atlantic Ocean from the shoreline of our rental home. Relaxing & laughing with and loving on each other.

My oldest daughter recently shared with me an ocean fact that she read in a book, just before we left for our beach trip. The fact was about how much water there was in the oceans per person on the earth. She was not exactly sure what the correct figure was, so I thought I’d do that math.

There are 343,423,668,428,484,681,262 gallons of water in the oceans. The world population is approximately 7 billion. Dividing the first number by the second gives an answer of 49,060,524,061 gallons of ocean water per person on the earth. That’s alot of water!

Why all this ocean fact knowledge on 66 books?

“Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O Lord, You preserve both man and beast. How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.”

Psalm 36:5-7 NIV

Another ocean fact:

“Beneath the world’s oceans lie rugged mountains, active volcanoes, vast plateaus and almost bottomless trenches. The deepest ocean trenches could easily swallow up the tallest mountains on land.” *

So, when I read and contemplate these verses about the Lord’s love, faithfulness, righteousness, and justice while at the ocean, I am consumed with the vastness of it.

Especially in light of verses 1 & 2…

“An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked. There is no fear of God before his eyes. For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin.”

How many times have I been like this wicked man David writes about? How many times have I acted in a sinful manner with no fear (respect) of God and His holiness? How easy it is to become tangled in the web of sin,  thinking that I deserve this or that, or that I have a right to act this way, or to think these thoughts. I have flattered myself in my eyes, so much that I do not detect and/or hate the sin that is consuming me.

But God’s love, oh His unfailing love is so vast, so merciful, so forgiving. When I turn from my sin and acknowledge Him as the Lord, He is so quick to show me grace and to cover me with His righteousness. God’s justice for the contrite is forgiveness and reconcillation, certainly not what I deserve or am due. What I deserve or am due is the opposite of what He gives, when I turn from my sin and accept His gift of redemption.

Lord,

Thank you once again for your unfailing love to me.

“You will again have compassion on us;
       you will tread our sins underfoot
       and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19 NIV)

Your love is truly, wonderfully,  and magnificently amazing!

Amen.

– Beckie (look2thehills)

*http://www.mos.org/oceans/planet/features.html

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Filed under M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Psalms

1 Samuel 4, Psalm 18, Jeremiah 42, Romans 4

Life is a Battlefield

Do you ever think about life on those terms? Lately, I feel this to be quite the theme. Sometimes life seems to be going along pretty smoothly and I seem to be “winning” the battle of life. But other times, the battle rages harshly around me and I feel on the “losing” end, as it takes its toll on my body and soul. How do I stay strong and fight the battle?

In 1 Samuel 4, the Israelites have just been defeated by the Philistines and they are distressed.

“When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, ‘Why did the Lord bring defeat upon us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh, so that it may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.'” (vs.3)

But keep reading and you’ll see that their human plan, without consultation with God, to use the ark as a good luck charm, failed.

“The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died. ” (vs.10 & 11)

God does not wish for us to “use” Him as a good luck charm to help us out of sticky/painful/yucky situations. He desires an ongoing relationship with open communication and total dependence through the good times as well.

In Psalm 18, we get a clearer picture of God equipping us to fight the battle of life.

“I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.” (vs.1 – 3)

“As for God, His way is perfet; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God?” (vs.30 & 31)

“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me Your shield of victory, and Your right hand sustains me; You stoop down to make me great.” (vs. 32-35)

God desires to strengthen and train me, as well as be my refuge and shield. How does He train me?

I believe the answers are found in vs.25 “To the faithful, You show Yourself faithful.” in vs.30 “The word of the Lord is flawless.” and in vs.49 “I will praise You among the nations, O Lord; I will sing praises to Your name. “

I need to be fully committed to the Lord’s army, faithful in all I do. I need to be feasting on His holy words, which are flawless food to my body and soul, and giving Him praise and glory through song and prayer, no matter what. That’s how the Lord strengthens me for the battle of life.

In Romans 4, we read about Abraham being justified by faith. Abraham could have easily given in to the battle of doubt and disbelief, when God promised him that one day he would be the father of many nations, and the years and years passed without the promise being fulfilled. But Abraham remained faithful and in constant communion with the Lord and he fought the battle of life with God’s strength.

“Yet [Abraham] did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.” (vs.20 & 21)

Lord,

You know that life is not all fun and carefree, but also full of hardships that can cause doubt and a wavering of my faith in You. I know that You are not the author of hardships, but You do allow me to go through them, hoping to make me stronger as I rely on You through thick and thin. I want to be made strong and trained for battle by You and not rely on myself and my silly human plans to get me through.

I praise You God, because only You are worthy of all glory and praise. You are my stronghold. You are my rock. You are my commander in this battle of life.

Amen.

– Beckie (look2thehills)

*Scripture taken from NIV*

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Filed under 1 Samuel, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Romans