Make Up Your Mind

So how do you know when the wait is over and you’re finally out of that pit?  Two ways.tn_dancing_final

“Psalm 40:2 describes the first one:  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”

 

  1. You realize after all the slip-sliding and sky diving you’ve done, your feet are finally planted on a rock, and you’ve got a firm place to stand.
  • Even if the mountains fall into the sea, you’re secure.
  • Even if the seas overtake the shores, you’re not going anywhere.
  • If earthly rulers fall and stock markets crash, your feet are steadfast.

As long as you rest all your weight on that rock, you’re not going to fall.  Praise His steadfast name, God is not a divine rug someone can pull out from under your feet.

He is there for every urgent need and any sudden spell, but an emergency room relationship with God is NOT the psalmist’s idea of a firm place to stand.

  • God is unreasonably patient and merciful.  Thank you Lord!
  • He is NOT a drive-thru drugstore.
  • He is NOT just a temporary fix in an urgent situation.
  • He is NOT a fast way to get everyone to forgive us.
  • He is NOT for us a good side to get on when we need Him to save our scrawny necks.

God CAN hold our weight, the full emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical poundage of you.

2. When you realize you have got to make up your mind. God gives us a firm place to stand,14100524681j9kn but we have to decide we want to take it.  The ground below our feet will be only as firm as our resolve.  As long as we are wishy-washy, what’s under us will be wishy-washy too.

God’s complaint with the Israelite’s in Psalm 78 was their inability to make up their minds about Him.

  • Were they with Him or Not?
  • Did they want a firm place to stand or an emergency room to visit?

Like us, they wanted God when they were in trouble, but as soon as the pressure let up, they wanted to chart their own course and be their own boss.  The momentary revelry of their rebellion turned into terrible bouts of captivity and consequences.

They experienced what we do: the slide into the pit is the only thrill ride.  From that point on, a pit is just dirt.

Loyalty means a made-up mind. Loyal is like firm and in Psalm 78 means to be “sure…certain…ready…prepared…determined.”  It means we have settled some things in advance of the inevitable temptation to revert or destructively scratch a temporary itch.  It means we don’t wait until the heat of the moment to decide.

A loyal spouse doesn’t wait for temptation of a co-worker flirting, she knows before work she will be loyal.  She has already made her decision.

God is firm, loyal.  He made up His mind about you before the foundation of the world.

Without hesitation God offers you a firm place to stand, but your feet are not firmly set in place until you’ve made up your own mind that’s where you want to be.  He will not force you to stand.  He most assuredly will not force you to stay.

“The problem is, life on Planet Earth, Beth says, “consists of one crisis after another.”

Resist the enemy, he is a good shot.  At some point you have to get yourself out there on that rock, trusting God is faithful and resist.  Once, then twice. Ten times, then twenty-five. Thirty times, then fifty till your flesh submits and your enemy gives up on that front and quits.

You have God’s power. Use it.

Beth says about resisting the enemy,  “she’s never gotten use to it, but I can be prepared or be a fool.”

I loved Beth bear in Wyoming story.  Point is if your victory depends on the right circumstances, you may as well wave the white flag and surrender to defeat.

“You could make up your mind that you are in with God, standing upon that rock, for the rest of your days.  When you know you are absolutely in, come what may…congratulations, Sweet Thing. You are out of the pit and your feet are on a rock.”

Eternal security is not the question.  Earthly security is.  It is time to make up your mind.

Family/closest friends can be one of the biggest challenges you will face from that rock.  Especially if they are in their own pits.  They say alcoholism is a family disease, bit it is not the only one.   God is there for your family or close friends also, but He recuses only one person at a time.

Usually when you get out of the pit, somebody feels betrayed that you felt a change was necessary.  Loyalty to God often is misinterpreted as disloyalty toward them.

Best quote of this chapter is:  “Nobody gets the right to keep you in a pit or to shame you for bailing.  Not even your mama.”  My mom tried, but I broke the cycle of pain.

When God performs a dramatic deliverance in our lives, the nature of some of our closest relationships inevitably changes.  The healthier we get, the more we realize how unhealthy we were.

Cooperating with God through painful relationship transitions may be the hardest work of all in our deliverance from the pit.

Persevere with Him and trust Him, not just with your life, but also with their lives.  Just as you waited on God for your deliverance, wait for theirs.

Not all relationships needs to survive your deliverance.  Our disfigured sympathies will keep us knee deep in the mire and our love will turn into resentment.  Regardless of how we began, we can become as emotionally addicted to a relationship as to a substance.

Be brave, do the hard thing. If God is leading you to let that person go who is constantly “pushing” you away from Him and His deliverance back toward the pit.  Goodbye is a necessary life skill for us former pit-dwellers.

Be strong and courageous.  Do not e terrified,…for the Lord your God will be with you where ever you go”  Joshua 1:9

Say goodbye to that pit once and for all.  Living on that rock firmly planted is not for the fainthearted.

It’s for those who make up their mind.

 

 

 

When Faith’s Song Goes Silent — BLOG

Blogger Dawn Wilson posted this recently.  I love it!  I wanted to share it so more of you could appreciate it.  It is wonderful and goes alone with the theme of my blog, Resting in His Word.  Silence can and is often a part of resting.  Enjoy this shared blog.

When I think of Cynthia Ruchti, I think of hope and wisdom. It’s the hallmark of her life and ministry. In this Spiritual Growth UPGRADE, she calls us to value the unique song of silence. “What happens,” Cynthia says, “when faith’s song goes silent? Or is missing key notes? Or grates on our nerves because…

via When Faith’s Song Goes Silent — BLOG

Come, let us return to the Lord 34

“Where is she?”  Miriam could tell her husband was successful finding the best friend, Amanda.

come  morguefile.She wants to sit alone up the road for a minute”.

“I can see you have made peace with yourself, haven’t you?”

“I had help along the way.”

Paul knowing without Angels faith and forgiveness he would have been guilty forever with no healing.  He was glad she was home.

After visiting with Miriam for a short time Angel knew she had to go to Michael.  She couldn’t wait any longer. They all walked towards Michaels then said goodbyes for now a short distance from the farm.

“Thank you for coming this far with me.  Thank you for sending Paul.”  She whispered as she kissed and hugged Miriam.

“Oh, God, give me the strength”

I have not given you a heart of fear.

What had she done?  Denying Michael her love.  She had played God and done what she thought best for him.  Causing him such pain.  Could he forgive her now?

Thanking him as she kneeled down at his feet.  Over and over telling him how she was so grateful for all he had done for her.  How she had found Christ though Michael and his faithfulness.

“Oh, Michael, Michael, I’m sorry”     Oh, God forgive me.

“Amanda, Amanda”  Michael cried as he reached down for her.  Lifting her to him holding her she said:

“Sarah, Michael.  My name is Sarah.  I don’t know the rest of it.  Only that much.  Sarah.”

The best gift she could give him, herself.

The name fit her so well.  A wanderer in foreign lands, a barren woman filled with doubt.  Yes Sarah of old had become a symbol of trust in God and ultimately the mother of a nation.  Sarah.  A benediction.  Sarah.  A barren woman who conceived a son.  His beautiful cherished wife would  someday give him a child.

“It’s a promise, Lord, isn’t it?”

Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn, that he may heal us;  he has stricken, and he will bind us up.  Hosea 6:1

This brings us to the end of the Book but not to the end of His Redeeming Love.  I hope you enjoyed traveling along as I journeyed with Michael and Angel.

As I did, I bet you found many similarities in your life where God has spoke to you like He did to Angel.  It’s my prayer you will listen to that small, quiet voice and take head.  God is always there for you.  Angel had to find her way to God on her own.  We too have to find Him.  He’s reaching out to each of us.  Yes he can use Michael and others to help us to Him.  But we need to put our trust in Him and worship Him not the Michael’s God has used in our lives to bring us near to HIM.

God Bless you and I hope you will follow me on to the next book.

490EUAB9Starting August 8th I will be blogging from this book.  I love Beth Moore.  I hope you will join me as I listen to God through Beth Moore’s experiences as she helps me

Get out of that Pit!

Remember keep following for events and other items of interest to women and growing our faith together.

Love,

Shelley

 

 

 

 

 

 

House of Magdalena 33

Paul was walking along the docks looking for Angel, hoping to not find her and there she was.  Coming out of the Bank.  Dressed in gray and wool, looking nothing like he exfile0001267163890pected.   Three years.  Michael had said she had to come back on her own.  So why was Paul doing this.  He went back to his room and thought long and hard about what he would say to Miriam.  She was dead.  She was shipwrecked and dead.  Gone, Gone.

The House of Magdalena was what the sign said.  He walked right in and to his surprise it was not a house of ill repute but a classroom of young women all dressed like Angel the day before.  He could just leave now and go back and see the wife of his dreams.  He’d been gone for several weeks now and he missed her loving touch and warmth.  But there would be no warmth if he came home alone.

“I’m looking for someone.  Angel.  Her name is Angel.”  “Paul”  somehow she looked like Angel but more soft, serene.  Looking well.  Beautiful as ever.

“Miriam is going to have a baby.”  He watched hoping that would hurt Angel.

It was delight on her face.  So happy for her and Michael.  Michael what?  Paul couldn’t breath.  He didn’t realize she had left the valley three years ago for the same reason he tried to leave.  She wanted Michael and Miriam to get together and have children.

How ashamed did he feel.  Now he is starting to see why Miriam was always saying to him, “you don’t understand”.  “Angel is doing what she thinks is best for Michael.

“Miriam is my wife. Angel, Michael is still waiting for you to come home.”  The horrible guilt weighed heavy on Paul, seeing now how much she loved Michael and had really been doing what she thought was the best for him.  She was sacrificing her happiness for him to have a child.

“I was wrong about you the whole time.”  They talked for hours.  Each understanding now how wrong they both had been.  Paul called her Amanda.

“Miriam sent me to find you, Amanda.  You have to come home with me.”

She told him everything, from being 8 years old being sold to Duke for his pleasure to Duke making sure she could never have children.  Paul reminded her that Michael chose her.  He knew what he was getting and he still chose her.  For better or worse.  Michael would honor his vow to her until death.

Angel explained what the House of Magdalena was to her and how she felt she could not leave it.   He told her to think about it and he would be leaving by noon the next day.

She stayed up most of the night talking with her dear friend Susanna explaining that she could handle the job and that she was going home.

 

 

Paul’s Turn To Do Something Worthy 32

Now Paul and Miriam married with a baby on the way Paul can see how unhappy Miriam is without her friend, Amanda.  It’s been three years now since she left the valley. Miriam demanded Paul go look for her.  Paul still not caring for Angel at all argues over and over but finally gives in and goes to Sacramento to check the bordellos where he figures she is.

Next on to San Francisco.  Not really eager to find her.  What would he say.  He hated her.  He didn’t want her to come home.  But if he ever wanted peace from Miriam he would have to try to find her.

“Come to me, beloved.  Stand and come to me.”

Oh, if only Michael could walk down that church isle with her as she accepted Christ.  All because of him had she been able to come full circle and more.  Trusting her life now to the one true God.  Michael’s God.

After 6 month living with the Axles’  she finally knew what she wanted to do with her life.  Running in to Torie, one of the Duchesses’ girls, she knew right then and there that she wanted to help women like Torie, like herself escape that life of misery.

With Jonathans’ friends financially supporting her by buying a house by the docks her and Susanna moved in and started teaching and guiding and helping those fallen doves to find a new way of supporting themselves.

The house was filled with young girls wanting to learn and Susanna and Angel were great team.  Jonathan had not wanted this kind of life for his daughter but God had his plans and they were filled with joy helping women this way.  Getting them jobs and some even rose to become prominent members of the town.  Married with children and respected.  All the things Angel could have only dreamed of for herself.

God was working in Susanna life as much or more as He was in Angels.  ***

 

 

Rock of Ages 31

“Why do you torture yourself, Paul.”  Michael puts his hand on Paul’s arm.

That’s it.  He can’t stand it.  He wants Michael to take Miriam as his wife for recompense for what he did to Michael’s wife on the way to Pair-a-Dice.  If he stays here that will never happen.  He has to go to the mountain and pan for gold and forget all about Miriam.  He will sell his land and go.

“Go ahead.  Run away to your mountains and your gold panning.” Miriam stormed off.

How could he explain that this was for her own good.  Michael will soon forget Angel and then turn to Miriam and they will be happy together.

“Paul, Mama! Not Michael.” Miriam said with alarm.  Didn’t she know?

Everyone, even Angel, had thought Miriam was in love with Michael, not Paul.   If Paul loved Miriam too, then why was this happening?  Why would he leave?

“I think he might be going for the same reasons Amanda left Michael.  They think I love Michael”

Miriam remembered how bold and strong Angel was so she followed her heart and went to Paul’s home and refused to leave.  She was going to move in with him.  She will lay at his feet like Ruth of the Bible to Boaz.  He will come to know her intentions soon.  ***

Angel is repulsed when she hears a young girl cry from the next room.  Duke’s newest little Angel.  Duke decides Angel will be the Madam of the house but not until she is taught a lesson by offering her up to the world on a stage in front of the whole bar room full of men hungry for pleasure.

Oh, God if you are there, kill me!  Any way you want to do it.  Only do it.  Help me!

As terror rose in her throat, standing on that stage, Duke introducing her to those awful men she hear a voice:

Sarah, Beloved.  Be Still, for I am here. 

Wrock-of-ages-hymnhat do you want from me, Oh, God, tell me.

My will.

As she stood froze on that stage God told her to Sing.  Sing, beloved.

She heard Michael’s voice now from the past.

“Louder, Tirzah.  Sing as though you believe it.”  But she was afraid.

Did she believe the words of that song from the well that day her, Michael and Miriam sang them?

All eyes were on her, “Oh, God, make me believe.”  Someone began singing for her, picking up the words where she had left off.  As suddenly the words forgotten appeared to her.  The man helping her sing started towards the stage.  Turning towards the men he asked them why weren’t they home with their family.  He saw shame on their faces.  Many knew him.  He was the town banker.

Duke raged and started to slap Angel and the dark man came up behind him and said he would kill Duke if he touched her.  Duke left the stage and was never seen again.

“Would you like to leave, miss?”  Asked the man.

Jonathan Axle helped Angel, Cherry and the little girl next door out of that place forever and took them home to find new homes and a new life for them.  He and his wife and daughter shared the love of Christ with Angel and the girls.  Soon Angel was singing that same song in Church, Rock of Ages!

Angel realized that Duke had been afraid of God that night because God was ever present sending Jonathan Axle to rescue her and the two other girls.  God was very real now to Angel.

Duke vs God 30

“You have grown into a beautiful woman, under all that soot.”

said Duke back at his home while he starred at Angel as she was getting ready for her bath back in the old house.  She had to leave Virgil behind fearful of what Duke would do to him if she refused to come back with him.  She remembered Rab and Johnny.

“Michael, oh, Michael!”  He had fought for her in Pair-a-Dice but he wouldn’t be here to fight for her his time.

Michael woke up in a cold sweat.  Angel had called to him.  He had seen her in his dream, a fire and a dark figure walking through the fire to her.  He couldn’t shake this feeling.  He prayed.  Then he prayed again fervently.  He was full of fear for his wife.

Where was she?  How was she surviving?  Was she hungry? Did she have shelter?  How was she making her way alone?  Why didn’t she come back to him?

He trusted God to protect and guide him.  Why couldn’t he trust that the Lord would o the same for her?  Because he knew she didn’t believe.

That’s how we feel I think when our loved ones aren’t believers yet.  We trust God for our lives but what about those out there gambling with their lives?

“Michael, show me what to do.”  Angel couldn’t think.  She knew Duke would be back and knew he was very angry with her.  What would he do to her?

“Trust in the Lord.”  She could see him sitting before a fire, the Bible in his lap.  Trust in the Lord.”  he said again.

It had been three years since she escaped Duke’s grasp on her when she ran away with Johnny.  Duke took care of Johnny but she had gotten away.  Now here she sat, bathed and dressed in fine silk, eating and drinking milk once again in Duke’s grasp.

“Oh, Michael, I’m weak.  I’m so weak! I was right to leave you.  Look at me!  Stuffing myself on Duke’s food.  I’m selling my soul for a steak and a slice of chocolate cake when I swore I’d starve before I went back to my old ways.  I don’t know how to be good!  I could only manage it when I was with you.”

“What happened to my fine moral strength I possessed while I was with you, Michael?  It’s gone again.  I’m right back to being Angel.  All the space of a few short hours and one tray of supper.”

She closed her eyes.  God, if you are there, strike me dead.  Kill me so I won’t give in completely.  I haven’t the strength to fight this devil.  I haven’t any strength at all.

“By the way, Angel.  If your Michael comes for you, I will kill him the same way I killed Johnny.”  and “I’m going to make you watch this time.”

The nightmares, came one right after another, Johnny, the smell of ship, the docks and garbage, her mother.    Michael and Miriam in the field.  Michael turning away from Miriam and running towards Angel.

“No, Michael, go back! Don’t come near me.”  She knew if he touched her, the foulness covering her would cover him as well.  He came ahead.

“Oh, God let me die. Let me die for him.”    NO! came the soft voice.  Michael ran to her.  A small flame burned where his hear was.  NO, beloved!  Michael’s mouth wasn’t moving.  Then the flames grew larger and brighter, spreading until his entire body was radiant with it.  The light separated from Michael and came the last few feet towards her.  It was a man, glorious and magnificent, light streaming from him in all directions.

“Who are you?  Angel cried out……Who are you?”

Yahweh, El Shaddai, Jehovah-mekoddishken, El Elyon, El Olam, Elohim….

The man touched her and she felt warmth and love all throughout her body.  Fear dissolving away.  She looked down at herself and found she was clean and clothed in white.

“Am I dead?”

That you might live.   I am the way Sarah.  Follow me.

As she awoke she hear Dukes seductive words in the next room and a child crying.