Tag Archives: Joel

Joel 1-3, Matthew 10

I was holding my mother’s hand the moment she died. I’ve mourned the loss of children I never named or held. I’ve felt the sting of losing a job. I’ve known the ache of betrayal. But there was one loss that lingered for years, one I couldn’t name at first, a sense of imbalance I couldn’t right, a futile pursuit that exhausted. It greeted me each morning with every sunrise, and gripped me with a pressure that bruised and suffocated–oh, how ridiculous it seemed when I named it: the loss of expectation.

It shamed and embarrassed me–how it tormented me–how could something so shallow (compared to death or destruction) sink me into a depressing heaviness of heart whose tablemates were rejection and mockery? I wanted to shake it off. Every day I determined to be bigger than it, toggling between pretending none of it mattered, and raging at how it dared to touch the tender places I couldn’t protect. It created such a fracture in my heart, that my life is marked by that time as before and after.

It was a spring in the after that God stuck a verse in my thoughts, a steady repetition of the words “I will give you back the years.” I was working in the yard that day, and stopped to get to a computer and search the scriptures for those words. They led me straight to Joel  (In more than one way–we purchased this land from a man named Joel.).

The Lord says, “I will give you back what you lost
    to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts,
the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. (Joel 2:25a, NLT)

The next sentence was totally unexpected. I stopped short.

It was I who sent this great destroying army against you. (Joel 2:25b, NLT)

And suddenly those years before made sense. The loss made sense. I was humbled and awed, truly, but above all, I was grateful.

Thank you, God, for showing me what life can be like when I lay down my own pursuits and seek your will. Thank you for bringing us here. Thank you for healing and hope restored. Thank you for changing my heart. Thank you for these five full years. Thank you for saving me from an even greater grief.

In life before, I never imagined that I would ever find myself grateful for heartache, dashed dreams, or loss of expectation. But in life after, I’m thankful for God’s intervention and the very hard heart work that changed my life.

Courtney (66books365)

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Joel; Matthew 10

…I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.

Your sons and daughters will prophesy.

Your old men will dream dreams,

and your young men will see visions.

In those days I will pour out my Spirit

even on servants—men and women alike. Joel 2:28-29

…don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Matthew 10:19-20

12shepherdsvoice_niv500x373 Recently, I have been going to my parent’s house for small group. It isn’t a traditional small group where everyone gathers for Bible study; it is a group where people come to seek the voice of God, to quiet the soul and listen for His still, small voice.

There was a time that I believed that God didn’t speak to His people anymore, but I have come to realize that the only reason I can’t always hear what He is saying is because I’m not always listening, with my ears, my eyes, my mind, my heart. Life is SO busy, and it is very easy to get caught up in the day to day that it can be difficult to hear what God is saying to me.

Sometimes I wonder if it really is God’s voice speaking to me, sometimes I wonder, “Could it just be what I am thinking? My imagination?”

A mighty woman of God shared with me her revelation on God’s voice at the beginning of my faith journey. To paraphrase, when you answer the phone, without looking at caller ID, and it is your father, your mother, your sister, brother, friend, etc., you know who it is simply by hearing them speak. You recognized their voices and don’t need them to reveal who they are. It is the same with God. When you first meet Him, you may need introductions, but as you meet with Him more and more, it becomes easier and easier to identify God’s voice and differentiate between the many ‘voices’.

I have learned to pray for discernment when I am not sure of the source of what I am hearing or seeing – a good barometer is whether or not what I am perceiving is from the Lord is that it is encouraging, edifying, and exhorting and that it lines up with the things He has already told me in His Word.

Whenever I position myself to hear from God, I do, and last night was no exception. I want to share what He communicated to me, because I know that it isn’t just for me:


I see a picture of a person in a vast body of water, deep enough that there is no perceivable bottom. I know that this person has been swimming for a while because no land is nearby. The person has stopped – he or she can go no further and can’t go back. Exhausted the person is slowly treading water to conserve energy, understanding that it is only a matter of time before he or she is even able to tread water anymore. Some time has passed and the person begins flailing, a last ditch effort for survival. Out of nowhere a life-saving ring is tossed in front of the person. At first, the person doesn’t even see the floatation device in front of him or her and continues grasping at air in desperation. As I look closer at the floatation device, I see that there is a rope attached to it, but rather than the rope leading to a boat as I would expect, it reaches into the clouds and the other end can’t be seen. I am hearing the words “Life Line”. All the person has to do is realize it’s in front of him or her, ready and available to help…

”I’m here. I’m ALWAYS here – in good times and bad, in sickness and health, for richer or poorer – nothing matters but you – loving you, caring for you, providing for you – the struggles are nothing to Me – they aren’t greater than Me, they can’t defeat Me, they won’t overcome Me, they aren’t ‘too much’ for Me – I love you with and everlasting love, incomprehensible to you, but fully unconditional – reach out, reach out for the life line I’ve thrown you, grab on and hold on tight – I’ll rescue you, I’ll bring you away from the fear, away from the panic, far away from the feeling of defeat. Grab onto Me and hold on tight.

Desperation is no longer yours – you’ll no longer feel like you’re drowning; you’ll no longer be afraid because My life line is yours, grasped tightly in your hand – always there, always rescuing you – hold on tightly to Me – hold on, hold on”…

And then I saw this: CONNEXTION


Yesappa, Thank You for meeting me. Thank You for speaking to me and showing me a piece of Your heart. Allow this word to minister to Your children. Open ears to hear and eyes to see You; and give courage to share what You are speaking. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie, Sholavandan, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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Joel 1, 2, 3; Revelation 4

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,

who was and is and is to come!”

 

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God,

to receive glory and honor and power,

for you created all things,

and by your will they existed and were created.” Revelation 4:8b, 11

There have been moments in my life when I believe that God has given me tiny glimpses of heaven. I haven’t had a near death, out-of-body experience, but I’ve walked away from those moments knowing that I had the chance to peek at what forever will be like.

Each one of those moments has been full of praise; they were times of worship and honor to my King. Some of the circumstances surrounding those flashes of heaven were full of joy and some full of grief, but they were moments when heaven met earth.

One of the first moments I experienced this was the night after my brother died. Some friends and I were worshipping the Lord, blessing Him in the bad as we do in the good. As we were lifting His name on high, a huge hail storm came out of nowhere and beat a torrent of ice balls on the corrugated roof. The sound was deafening, and it spoke to me of God’s glory and goodness.

Another time recently, singing corporately in church, praising His name together. I don’t even remember the song we were singing any more, but I could hear the angels singing with us. I was reminded that together we will sing God’s praises in the heavens for all eternity.

And this past week, as I have been reveling in the birth of my son and still experiencing the surreal truth that I am now a mother of three. I am grateful for an uneventful delivery and a peaceful newborn; and I am grateful for the help I have been receiving with my girls and with meals. I feel God’s presence giving me peace and rest and I praise Him for always being there for me and my family.

The Lord truly is holy and worthy of all praise, and to receive glory, honor, and power, forever and ever! And, together, on earth and in heaven, we who love Him praise His name always! Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)

 

Judah Benaiah David Richard

“My God be praised for our beloved son whom you created”

Born December 5, 2014  (9 lbs, 4 oz; 21.75 inches)

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Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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2 Chronicles 22; Joel 1; 2 Corinthians 9

2 Corinthians 9

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”

12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.

It seems that someone is always using the expression “for God loves a cheerful giver.”  It comes up every time someone wants to tap into my wallet for support of this or that and rarely in reference to any other resource, except money.  Usually it is accompanied by a heavy dose of guilt.  It always makes me wonder why, when addressing a group of Jesus followers, it is necessary to do more than just explain the need.  People who are following Jesus have been directed to take care of the poor and to share the resources that God has blessed them with.  In fact Paul claims that righteousness is tied to scattering your gifts to the poor.  He says that giving to the Lord’s people is actually a statement of thanksgiving to God Himself.  It is in fact “proof” of your faith.

Paul has acknowledged that God wants us to use all of the resources at our disposal, to carry on the work that Jesus has sent us to do.  This brings Glory to God’s Name and aids in the spread of the gospel which is so important to God’s people.  Why do we hold back?  How can we expect to reap generously when we have sown so little?

Father change my heart.  Help me to be a cheerful giver of all of my resources.  Show me where my resources are needed.  Share with me the areas you would have me give of my time and other resources.  Help me do my part in carrying on the work of spreading the gospel to all of the nations.

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2 Kings 23, Hebrews 5, Joel 2, Psalm 142

Everybody gets dirty.

The best directions are on the shampoo bottle.

Lather. Rinse Repeat.

The king also desecrated the high places that were east of Jerusalem on the south of the Hill of Corruption—the ones Solomon king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the vile goddess of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the vile god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the people of Ammon. 2 Kings 23:13

Solomon built God’s house.

Solomon, tempted by his foreign wives, also built pagan shrines.

Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses. 2 Kings 23:25

I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. Psalm 142:1-3

With God’s help Josiah cleaned up the mess.

“Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Joel 2:12-13

And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, even among the survivors whom the LORD calls. Joel 2:32

Salvation is a gift.

But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:14

Spiritual maturity takes effort. Without it, we too can make a mess.

Everybody goes astray.

The best instructions are in the Bible.

Read. Understand. Apply. Repeat.

Putting right what goes awry is hard, but God has given us everything we need to help us.  When He writes the screen play, no matter what happens in the scenes before, the ending will be a blessed one for those whose names are engraved on the nail scarred hands of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

yicareggie

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