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THE SECRET OF LIVING THE SABBATH REST

ARE YOU ANXIOUS

ABOUT MANY THINGS?

an emu

CONCERNED ABOUT

HOW THINGS WILL TURN OUT?

Rose from muddypaws.com

 

IS YOUR BODY LANGUAGE

TELLING YOU A HEART IDOL

IS AT WORK?

 

THEN THIS WEEK IS FOR YOU

HEBREWS 4 IS A HARD NUT TO CRACK


 

BUT OH THE RICHES WHEN YOU DO!

FOR HOW WE NEED TO LEARN THE SECRET

OF LIVING THE SABBATH REST

YOU WHO ARE STILL WITH US AND WILL PERSEVERE

WILL BE SO BLESSED!


 

I’m excited about the real help available to you this week. In my own life, I am living more of the Sabbath rest of Hebrews 4. There are two layers of rest — there is the cessation of work, and we are commanded to keep the Sabbath, who like God, worked six days and then rested. We will mess up our health and lives if we neglect the Sabbath Rest and never cease working. God designed us so that we need rest.

THE DEEPER SABBATH REST

But we all know it is possible to cease from work and yet not rest, because we are anxious. God is calling us to deeper Sabbath rest, one rooted in how we apply the Gospel to our daily lives. Do we really believe that we are loved in good times and in bad so that we can surrender to Him, the way a baby trusts a father so that he can surrender his little body and sleep?


THE GRAND ADVENTURE OF TRUSTING GOD

Why can we trust Him? It’s the Gospel — He loves us enough to die for us. We must repeat this to ourselves when we face stress and surrender our bodies, minds, and hearts to Him. He will do what is best –even if it might not seem like it at the time. I think specifically of several of you facing great stress and pray this lesson is of real help.

Let me give you a few examples from my life from the last two weeks where I experienced this deeper rest — and then I want to hear from you.

  • When I spoke in Nebraska, I could tell right away from my peripheral vision that there was technical trouble with the visual presentation, which is always my nightmare. But I knew I’d done all I could — and that God was in control. I did ask God to keep me calm and to keep David calm as he scurried to fix it. (My daughter Anne said, “Mom — I thought you didn’t know because you were so calm!”) When the first video  wouldn’t work, I was able to tell the women:”Please pray. We’ve had lots of spiritual warfare with Idol Lies. But God is in control — and He only gives Satan enough rope to hang himself.” A minute later it started working and the women cheered. Am I disappointed that the first fifteen minutes were not good, that the women were uncomfortable because of tech troubles? Yes. But I also know He has a plan and He did show Himself strong. And I rest in that.
  • My septic tank motor broke this week, I was expecting guests who are in ministry, and I couldn’t reach my plumber.  I feared my guests would be anything but blessed! I felt my body tensing up –saw that red flag. So instead of listening to my soul, I talked to my soul — for I know God loves me. I love the little chorus “He gave His life — what more could He do? Oh how He loves you…” God did give me peace, and in the nick of time, got the pump running again and it was a simple fix.
  • I received a very angry letter from a relative a few days ago. I made the stupid mistake of making a cryptic political comment about misplaced hope on our family Facebook page that she took personally. It brought up memories to her of other things she didn’t like about me and she listed them. I admit, the letter hurt. But I was wrong — and I longed to humble myself and give her a genuine apology. And though I always struggle at first to forgive, it is always the gospel that reminds me how wrong I am to withhold forgiveness. Am I at peace with this relative? Not yet, but though that is troubling, I also am experiencing His peace and I do have real hope for reconciliation in the future. So I leave it there, and rest on my Father’s broad chest.
  • I learned this week that I need to have surgery to remove my gall bladder this Tuesday. I had prayed they would be able to get me in soon both because of pain and upcoming speaking. They called and gave me Tuesday — the anniversary of Steve’s death. I could be very anxious, but indeed I am speaking to my soul, and I am in His hands. He loves me and I rest in that. That’s the Gospel truth that gives me the deeper Sabbath rest.
  • Slowly — I’m learning to live the Sabbath rest. Every day — I long to live this secret — this secret I’m so eager to share.

Sunday/Monday   Icebreaker

1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

2. Can you share an everyday example of surrendering to God in the last two weeks and experiencing His peace? Or not surrendering and experiencing continued anxiety or pain?

Monday-Wednesday  Bible Study

Begin memorizing Hebrews 4:15-16. There is great assurance and comfort here.

3. As vital background, Read Numbers 14:1-23

A. Describe the unbelief of the Israelites and how they treated Moses and Aaron.

B. Yet Moses still interceded for them — what did he pray and how did God respond?

This helps you understand that the section you are about to read in Hebrews should not cause you to leap to the conclusion that the Israelites were not saved from the penalty of sin. God forgave them. But they never entered “the deeper rest” that comes from trusting God in hard times, and God did take their lives as an example to us. Do not misinterpret this coming passage to imply we can lose our salvation. But we may indeed be saved from the penalty of sin and not experience the deeper rest He longs for us to know.

4. Read Hebrews 3:16-19 and answer:

A. Who heard the good news of the promised land but rebelled? Describe what their lives were like for forty years and how they died.

B. Numbers tells us that God forgave them — yet they lived miserable lives. What kept them from experiencing peace and joy?

C. Do you feel you are entering into the grand adventure of trusting Him? If so, how?

5. Read Hebrews 4:1-3

A. Now the author is talking in the present to us. How can you see that from verses 1 and 2?

B. Challenge question (and important) Do you see the word “gospel” or “good news” in verse 2? Describe a stressful situation you are facing and now explain how the gospel could help you face it and relax in your Father’s arms.

6. Read Hebrews 4:4-10

Now the author goes back to creation and how God rested on the 7th Day. Now, as Keller explains, God doesn’t get physically weary as we do — so what is He resting from? What it means, is that “He was satisfied with what He was doing — He said it was good.” That is what it means to go to the deeper rest. You must be satisfied because you have done what God wants you to do and then you surrender to Him the results. This word “satisfied” is also used in Isaiah 53:11 of Jesus — he was in anguish on the cross, but he was satisfied, for He won our salvation.*(How beautiful is this?)

In the same way, we must get rid of the “eternal murmur” of self-reproach. We are so often unhappy with who we are because we do not believe the gospel. Or we do not trust Him enough, after we have done our best, and repented of what we did poorly, to rest in His arms.

A. What did it mean that God rested, if not resting His body? (This is important — read above again if you are unsure.)

B. Meditate on Hebrews 4:9-10 for there is great assurance here. It also shows the deeper rest, by comparing our rest to the rest God felt. (He was satisfied.) This is important.

7. Read Hebrews 4:11-16

Rachael, on the Idol Lies video (now available on my website!) said “This is such a daily battle.” And it is. We are so prone to wander, to back away from God, and to not enter this deeper rest. There are some secrets to help us persevere in this passage.

A. How can you see it is a daily battle according to verse 11?

B. What is one tool that will help us enormously according to verse 12 — and why?

C. Hidden in verse 13 is the first part of the Gospel — expressing our great need. Find it.

D. Hidden in verse 14 is the second part of the Gospel — expressing God’s provision. Find it.

E. What other great tool is found in verse 16?

Thursday-Friday: Sermon

You will be so blessed by this Keller Sermon, The Rest-Giver. If you didn’t purchase the package, you can get it individually: Link

There is also a free sermon on Psalm 95, which is quoted in Hebrews 4, and Keller goes into Hebrews 4 at the end of this sermon: Link

7. Share your notes here.

Saturday:

8. What is your take-a-way and why?


*Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.  Isaiah 53:11

 

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426 comments

  1. Oh my–as I read this, I thought–personally, this is just EXACTLY what I need this week.And yet, isn’t it always? To rest in the security, the safety of His arms.
    Dee, I am praying much for Tuesday’s surgery and for healing of the hurt between you and your relative–I know the sting of how deeply wounds like that can hurt.

    As I read this morning, I kept thing of “Jesus I am Resting, Resting”, by Steve Green: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tm9_MHAbbIE

    Jesus, I am resting, resting
    In the joy of what Thou art
    I am find out the greatness
    Of Thy loving heart
    Thou has bid me gaze upon Thee
    And Thy beauty fills my soul
    For by Thy transforming power
    Thou has made me whole
    O, how great Thy loving kindness
    Vaster, broader than the sea!
    O, how marvelous Thy goodness
    Lavished all on me!
    Yes, I rest in Thee Beloved
    Know what wealth of grace is Thine
    Know Thy certainty of promise
    And have made it mine

    REFRAIN
    Jesus, I am resting, resting
    In the joy of what Thou art
    I am finding out the greatness
    Of The loving heart

    Ever lift Thy face upon me
    As I work and wait for Thee
    Resting ‘neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus
    Earth’s dark shadows flee
    Brightness of my Father’s glory
    Sunshine of my Father’s face
    Keep me ever trusting, resting
    Fill me with Thy grace

    REFRAIN
    I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart

    I’m really excited for this week–this has been such an interesting study for me so far. I have loved everyone’s insights. Praying we all enjoy resting in Him today~

    1. Elizabeth, I tried to pick my favorite part of this hymn..but I love all of it..I am finding out the greatness of His loving heart as I apply the Gospel daily..As I fix my eyes on Him I remember the cross that He died not only to save me from the penalty of sin but the power of sin-to keep me feeding on Him-the bread of life who was broken into crumbs for me. I can so easily back away and turn to idols, so I must feed on Him ever trusting, resting…I SO need Him every day.

      1. Oh, and I just had this thought..He is Faithful, steadfast..I can rest in Him..in the middle of stress or suffering I can easily focus on the issue and make it bigger than him. So i ask, what does the Cross really mean? Will He abandon me? No! He shed his blood so no one can snatch me out of his hands. I am his. He is faithful, He is with me..He is in control and I can rest in Him and in His finished work on the cross..

        I don’t mention this often, but my life is full of daily trials..but it is so good because more and more I find how I can’t..how helpless I am, yet am seeing more how magnificent he is..I am starting to see this daily stress as a gift. Crazy and hard, but a gift..for I am experiencing Him more and finding His peace deeply satisfying..surpassing any false temporary peace my idol offers..yet I feel like I have so far to mature in this..

    2. Elizabeth,
      You always have a treasure chest full of songs and hymns to share with us – thank you for this one. “Brightness of my Father’s glory, Sunshine of my Father’s face” – reminds me of Hebrews 1:1-3, He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact representation of His being…

    3. Thank you Elizabeth, I enjoyed that song! I am so thankful for the internet and youtube and for people like you who know such songs and share them!

  2. Sunday/Monday   Icebreaker

    1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

    I love the thought of the baby on his mothers/fathers chest and of your head, Dee on our fathers chest 🙂

    I have a real struggle with this physically but not mentally. Because I am a teacher, the work never seems to get done during the week and I am forced to work on the weekends. Saturday I am usually exhausted and my house is neglected, so I clean or shop. Sunday is church. Unfortunately though, Sundays end up being the work day for grading papers and lesson planning for the week. I have always wanted to rest on Sunday’s but it never happens. 🙁

    2. Can you share an everyday example of surrendering to God in the last two weeks and experiencing His peace? Or not surrendering and experiencing continued anxiety or pain?

    Two examples come to mind. The first is that Sarah actually had an adult conversation with me about the criminal issue she was facing. She explained she was afraid and wanted to know how she could change the course of her actions. I should have prayed with her first (afterthought), but I told her she should make the situation right and maybe the girl who was pressing charges would reconsider. In the end, Sarah listened (a first!) and the girl is dropping the charges. God was with me the last 2 weeks on this matter and although i did have a small meltdown initially, a calmness overcame me and I was able to focus and help her when the time came.

    The second is with my mom. She is still stable and i am resting with Jesus. It is good.

    Praying for your surgery Dee. Sarah had her gallbladder out 2 years ago. Medical world is amazing!

    1. Good to hear about your Mom…and you; glad that you both are taking good care.

    2. So glad to hear that things are improving with your family – Sarah, your mother, and you. So encouraging to hear that Sarah listened to you and that God gave you the wisdom to know what to say.

    3. So encouraged about your daughter!

    4. Laura–love the way He is loving you through these difficult times. Your peace is evidence of trusting in Him. Really encouraging about Sarah!

    5. Laura, I’m praising God now for answering prayers for Sarah! So thankful she came to you to talk and she listened and the girl dropped the charges! So thankful for your mom’s stable condition too!

    6. This is good news, Laura. I will continue to pray for Sarah and your mom. The nurse in me has to ask this question….because your mom fell and was hurt, does she have someone to be with her at her home? Or a neighbor who has a key and checks on her a couple of times a day?

      1. Laura I am rejoicing that you had a good conversation with your daughter. I will continue to pray.

      2. Hi Susan, thanks for asking. Yes, my mom lives with my brother.nags has a few home health nurses who are doing OT/PT with her, a maid every few days, neighbors, plus a companion a few hours a week. So, she is covered with people during the day and at night. It was one of those “fluke” things where she just wanted to get something from the pantry real quick. She got up and didn’t use her walker or cane because she still thinks she can do everything she used to do.

    7. So thankful for positive report on Sarah and will keep on praying.

  3. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

    Dee’s stories stood out as well as the two kinds of rest and the ‘deeper’ one is resting in the Gospel-His love, resting on his broad chest. He is in control.

    Dee’s examples were strong ones. Loved the example in Nebraska. 🙂 There is spiritual warfare with this book in a big way but God only gives Satan enough rope to hang himself indeed.

    1. I was at the Nebraska conference and I too deal with technology on a weekly basis because my husband is a pastor. I know the anxieties that it brings for the speaker…but I also know that it’s at those times that we truly “have” to rely upon Him and He never fails us. God is always glorified in those times even if the equipment fails us. I have had to learn to “rest” in this more times than I would like to admit. And prayer now is always my first response.

  4. 2. Can you share an everyday example of surrendering to God in the last two weeks and experiencing His peace? Or not surrendering and experiencing continued anxiety or pain?

    I have many, but I will share just one. 🙂

    My oldest son said some things that hurt the other night. I wanted to listen and to hear him, but my body was tense because of my control idol-the way he was telling me was hurtful. I also knew he was right in his perception of some things. I am task oriented, and when I need to get something done that is above all else. It is hard for me to blow off things that need to be done to sit and watch a show or do something else.

    My son recalled he wanted me to go outside and see him do something and he had to drag me out of the house because I was in the middle of a task at home. He also told me all I seem to care about are his grades and homework. I could see how it hurt him and that hurt me! I spoke truth to my soul and remembered the cross-how God loves me and He is faithful even though I fail. I went into the van and cried out to God. I can’t do this anymore! What more can I do? God seemed silent, but quickened me to pay attention to what I just said..Yet I see now that I was in a good place, at the end of myself. The truth is is that I can’t!

    As ugly and controlling as I had been GOD, MY SAVIOR WAS STILL WITH ME. I knew he was even though I felt he was silent. I began to speak truth to my soul that He is in control of this situation, of my son, of his heart, of his grades-of his future-of his life. God loves me and God has this.

    Then God began to hold me and console me because I felt bad how I treated God and my son..I love it when He does this and it is a deep consoling! 🙂 I like to picture him rubbing my back while holding me..kind of silly, but that is how He is, a shy lover. 🙂 He started through Laura Dancer and came to me on the blog and reminded me that He is a perfect father yet the Israelites rebelled, Adam and Eve rebelled and as Dee said, he lost a third of his angels. Then He came a little deeper and consoled me through a Keller sermon I listened to while cleaning yesterday..”I am the Bread”. (In regard to the miracle of multiplying the bread and fish.)

    God moved through Keller to show me my little loaves can’t do it and that isn’t bad. I can’t be a good mom until I realize I am not. When I say I can do it that is when I know I can’t. I thought I was a match for this issue-well I’m not..now that I know I am not a match for this issue-well now I am. God shows me I am inadequate so he can make me adequate.

    I don’t want to back away from him because I am overwhelmed, i want to make him my life. I want to point to HIS record, not mine. I need to feed on Him.

    Every problem I have is because I am making something my life instead of Jesus-something more important. Jesus said He is the bread of life-the solution to all my problems..Jesus said to devour Him, feed on Him…Keller said it means with comprehensive intensity.

    1. And I forgot to mention-I am applying this to my ‘task-oriented’ issue as well. God used my son to point that out in me..to raise that to the surface-my control idol thinks if I don’t stay on a task, it won’t get done and therefore won’t allow time for God’s interruptions..even the timing of when things need to be done is in His hands, not mine..oh my!

      Another thing-Dee mentioned it will be the anniversary of Steve’s death Tuesday..I just wanted to tell you Dee, that even though I didn’t know him, I feel like I do and his life is impacting mine still. When my son told me I wouldn’t go outside with him and put a task above him, I thought of Steve and how he would drop what he was doing to spend time with Beth-to love on his children. It didn’t make me feel guilty-it warmed me and God showed me through Steve what transformation looks like-that God can make me a better mom that loves well.

      Okay..I have talked way too much this morning..sorry for the long posts! I just wanted so to share with my sisters here of His moving in my life! To Him be the glory!

      1. Love how God is moving in your life Rebecca!

      2. you could never “talk too much” rebecca–you’re heart is beautiful and inspiring–always pointing me to Him

      3. Both posts Rebecca were wonderful and very eye opening to me and my own life. Thanks! Don’t ever NOT write what you feel.

      4. Rebecca, never be sorry for your long posts…I love them, because you pour out your heart and admit wrong and it makes me feel your heart love for God. You are beautiful…inside and out:)

      5. Rebecca,
        This is a beautiful post. You are so transparent, sharing what happened with you and your son. I love how real and “hands-on” you make your relationship with the Lord – I can’t ever forget your “intimacy with God is like a stream and I hate it when rocks get in the way” – I’ve told so many people what you’ve said, and now how instead of letting the enemy lead you down into a guilty spiral, instead of running away from God, you ran toward Him and He brought you comfort.
        “Every problem I have is because I am making something my life instead of Jesus…” – this is so good.

    2. I like this Rebecca:

      “God moved through Keller to show me my little loaves can’t do it and that isn’t bad.”
      Made me smile…

    3. Rebecca, this was SO good. What an impact your example is to your son of being willing to really hear him and for him to see you asking God to change you. I think you are showing him how to walk with humility

      I remember hearing Cythia Tobias ( author of “You Can’t Make Me but I Can Be Persuaded”) on the radio once. I was feeling so down about the mistakes I had made parenting Josh, my strong willed one. She comforted a mom like me who called saying that God can use even our mistakes to help shape our children into who He made them to be, I cried like a baby. I do believe He can redeem all of it.

      My Zach used to talk w/o ceasing, I would sometime tune him out. I wish I could go back leaving the dishes dirty & the floor unmopped and just let him ramble on

      1. Oh Chris, you hit it right on, because I so often feel the same way…wishing I could go back and do things differently with the kids when they were young. Things will get done, but your kids are growing and soon on their own and then we arn’t needed as much anymore.

  5. Dee, Have been praying for you-your gall bladder pain-oh my..and so glad you have scheduled a date for surgery! Thankful for God’s provision of Doctors and that you will get this taken out and taken care of soon. I so wish I lived closer!

  6. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

    Why can we trust Him? It’s the Gospel — He loves us enough to die for us. We must repeat this to ourselves when we face stress and surrender our bodies, minds, and hearts to Him
    I’m fighting a sinus infection right now and that has slowed me down physically, but I am looking at it as an opportunity to get more familiar with the Word!
    I have been putting in a lot of hours at work to the point where I feel that is all I do! I’m blessed to have a job where I can listen to sermons, Christian music and Moody Broadcast!
    But giving the Lord my attention and having morning devotion really sets the tone for how my day will go!
    I have a two week vacation coming up and I can’t wait!
    It’s going to be so great to feel chained to a computer!
    The had my evaluation Thursday and my new manager gave an awesome eval. Our hospital has merged with a smaller hospital and in another month they will be on the same software system as ours. Which means we will be able to view all patients records in both hospitals. Which also means a lot of change will be coming to our department. People are in a panic for fear of losing their jobs. And I will admit I was a little worried also. I have seen hard working employees in my department get cut because of the installation of this new system last year.
    But my boss told me I’m not going anywhere! I am needed and valued! And she and the “power that be” are creating a postition for me because of my knowledge of merging records. That I will be the Chart Correction Analyst for both hospitals. And I may have to train 2 others to help me!
    I can cry when I think of how God gave me this job seven years ago!

    2. Can you share an everyday example of surrendering to God in the last two weeks and experiencing His peace? Or not surrendering and experiencing continued anxiety or pain?
    When my car got hit two weeks ago.
    I almost lost it in my daughter’s livingroom. The guy who hit me took off.

    But a witness tracked down, the vehicle he was driving was insured , I am driving a nice rental car while mine is still in the shop, I just received a check from his insurance co. to cover my deductible , and not a dime of my own money is going to this inconvenience !

    1. Wow what a blessing! So thankful someone tracked the person down…encouraging.

    2. Laura Marie,

      Loved this: “Why can we trust Him? It’s the Gospel — He loves us enough to die for us. We must repeat this to ourselves when we face stress and surrender our bodies, minds, and hearts to Him.”

      Also, Praise God in keeping your job and not only that but getting praise for being such a good employee and getting more responsibility because they trust you-how faithful is He to love on you like this! 🙂

      1. Thank you Dee.
        I’ll be praying for you to have a speedy recovery after the gallbladder surgery! It’s not that bad . I had mine out last December.
        Sorry your post went awry on FB.
        I stay connected with my large family ( cousins mostly)and friends on FB.
        After a huge blowout with my Liberal cousin in Chicago and my Conservative cousin in Georgia, we all agreed to not pick fights with each other.
        Instead we post our “political ” views and sometimes it can be pretty comical. Although I had to block one cousin for being to vulgar. (lol)

    3. Laura Marie- I love this “But my boss told me I’m not going anywhere! I am needed and valued!”–such affirmation! And to remember God says this to each of us as well–made mesmile.

    4. Woo hoo great news Laura Marie! Thank you Lord!

    5. So happy, Laura of your good news of your job and your car!

    6. Smiling with you, Laura Marie! This is all wonderful news about your job and your car! You must certainly be reflecting Him on the job!

  7. This looks WONDERFUL! Read it early this morning on my cell— will be back later (hadn’t expected to be around today, so I feel blessed to get started on Sunday.

    Dee, will be praying for you re: upcoming surgery and recovery.

  8. 1. What stood out to your from the above and why?
    The examples that Dee gave and other personal examples that came to mind reminded me how I can stress over the small stuff which at the time seems so significant but in the broad scheme of things really aren’t, and how coincidences are very much ordained by God. God gives me many lessons to learn through daily trials and challenges as well as coincidences and irony; lessons to deepen my love, trust, and peace.

    2. Can you share an everyday example of surrendering to God…
    I have two adult daughters (20 and 22); from the time they were very little the importance of going on to higher education was impressed upon them. (I served as an example of what I didn’t want them to do…dropped out of college in my junior year and went back in my mid-30’s while a wife, mother, and full-time worker to complete my degree.) Neither have pursued higher education as we had hoped; both are working two-part-time jobs living pay check-to-pay check. For my husband and I, this has been heart wrenching to see the girls that have such potential not taking advantage of it. On my way to work each morning I pray for many things including the girls; this past week I felt a sense of peace regarding the girls. I came to the conclusion that God loves these girls more than I do, He knows what is best for them, and I will trust Him to guide them and teach them whatever lessons they need to learn from their decisions. I have no control in this matter (might this be a control idol?…didn’t think that idol was necessarily lurking, but maybe so…) and leave it in God’s hands.

    1. “I came to the conclusion that God loves these girls more than I do, He knows what is best for them, and I will trust Him to guide them and teach them whatever lessons they need to learn from their decisions”….loved that quote nanci! Always need that reminder!

    2. so so wise nanci–i needed all of this “and I will trust Him to guide them and teach them whatever lessons they need to learn”

    3. This is my problem with my children also, Nanci. I really “get” where you are in your thoughts. I have also decided God is in control and will take care of my 20 and 22 year olds as well.

    4. Nancy, so proud of you! It is so hard to leave it in God’s hands, but we are so blessed when we do!

    5. Nanci, I glean so much wisdom from moms like you and others here who have older children-moms who are trusting God with them through the fires in life. My oldest two are 12 and 13 so I have a way to go until they get older but I see now where I so need to grow more in trusting and resting with my children.

    6. It’s hard to let go even when they reach adult age.
      I can empathize with this. Thank you!

  9. Dee, you will be in my prayers…take care in the days ahead.

  10. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

    Oh my, Dee. Surgery for gall bladder on Tuesday! Yikes! So sorry to here you have been suffering with this pain. For sure you are in my prayers this week!

    And thank you so much for the lesson on Sabbath rest this week. It is what I have been trying to focus on in the midst of my stress. Everytime I start to worry, I pray and focus on Him. I sometimes have noticed when I do that (focus/rest in Him) that my body physically relaxes before I am aware of it. I catch myself breathing deeply a sigh of relief and straightening up my hunched shoulders and back. God is good! He is in control! We need not fear!

    I think this song, “Rest” fits perfectly with this week’s focus. I love it so! Steve Green sings it but I couldn’t find him singing it on youtube, but this is good too.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-W3B3OUkN0

    Rest, the Lord is near
    Refuse to fear, enjoy his love
    Trust, his mighty power
    Fills every hour, of all your days

    Refrain:
    There is no need
    For needless worry
    With such a Savior
    You have no cause to ever
    Doubt, his perfect Word
    Still reassures, in any trial.

    Rest, the Lord is there
    Lift up your prayer
    For he is strong
    Trust, he’ll bring release
    And perfect peace, will calm your mind

    Call him if you grow frightened
    Call him, with loving care
    He’ll lift the burden and you’ll

    Rest, the Lord is near
    Refuse to fear, enjoy his love
    Trust, his mighty power
    Fills every hour, of all your days
    Rest, the Lord is near
    Refuse to fear, enjoy his love

    1. SO GOOD DIANE. “Rest, the Lord is near–Refuse to fear,”

      1. I like that too, so good!

    2. Diane,

      Loved this hymn..Reminds me of the passage in Numbers 14 we are doing this week-how they didn’t refuse to fear and therefore they couldn’t enter His rest. “Rest, the Lord is near, refuse to fear.”-so good.

  11. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
    “God designed us so that we need rest.”
    This is SO much more than just physical. I struggle to sleep fully—I wake up a few times each night, and by nature am a night owl, morning sleeper—but by practicality have not been able to live that way in decades! So I do know the exhaustion that comes from lack of physical rest. But as hard as physical unrest is, it is when I am not at rest inwardly, spiritually, that I suffer most.

    2. Can you share an everyday example of surrendering to God in the last two weeks and experiencing His peace? Or not surrendering and experiencing continued anxiety or pain?
    Oh, I could give examples on both ends. I asked my neurologist last week if stress is causing my 9 months of neuropathy—as I explained what all has been going on, more than I can share here, I cried in front of him. While he did not believe stress is the cause, he said it definitely can exasperate it. I believe, at least in some part, my pain has been a red flag the Lord has used—not only to draw me to an intimacy with Him I never imagined, but also to force me to look at some things I would not have otherwise.

    I recently made an appt with a counselor, I thought, for my pain; but in talking about my greatest stress, issues came up regarding my children. We are having to recognize some affects of our children’s adoptions that we had honestly wanted to ignore. Stuff way bigger than me. But He is faithful. I know Him. I know that He is bringing about healing, I trust in that. The eye opener this week, is that I cannot fix this. I cannot even change me enough to fix it. I must surrender. So as Dee said, I pray. I am faithful in my repentance. And I leave it with Him. It is a minute-by minute thing for me right now. But just as early on in the journey of pain, I had to surrender my clean house and perfect schedule, now I am having to look at the bigger things. Past the physical rest, to spiritual rest. Trusting Him with it all—my only choice.

    He is also giving me enough glimpses of His work to keep my hope anew. My youngest, who had been struggling with the transition to Kindergarten, has suddenly become a star student. I asked him last week if this was the new “6 year old” him (he just had a birthday), and he said “No, it’s just God…don’t you remember we prayed?” And of course we’ve prayed—a lot. But it came back to me—the moment a few weeks ago when I sat on his bed, honestly tired of the same old prayer. So we talked about his sin and that this is what Jesus died for. About letting God really come in and take over—replace the dirty sin with Himself, His power to obey. My son said ‘it’s like God takes a big dump truck and gets all the dirt out and comes in to take over’. I needed the reminder—it’s none of me, it’s ALL Him, and it’s a daily, minute-ly process. At honestly

    1. Out of the mouth of babes!!!!

    2. I noticed you dodged my question about your pain last week, I figured it must be bad & have been praying for you.
      So sweet that God gives you glimpses of his love through your son.

      I hope that end of you time of trial will be soon, I pray that all He wants you to know from it will be accomplished.

      “You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.”
      ― C.S. Lewis

    3. Oh how sweet! I love that so much…children are such a blessing!

      Praying for your pain, your counseling and your greatest stressers, Elizabeth.

    4. Elizabeth, Oh how precious: ‘it’s like God takes a big dump truck and gets all the dirt out and comes in to take over’. God is giving your little guy a tender heart for Him.. 🙂

    5. Elizabeth,
      I hope you wrote down what your son said – that’s a keeper! What an encouragement from him. How often I also get “tired of the same old prayer…”
      I’ll be praying for you in your counseling, too.

  12. just realized I cut off my last sentence “At honestly every turn it feels like there is an opportunity to stress or trust. But He is faithful, He is patient.”

    1. Yes! So true Elizabeth your story of perseverance in this pain is encouraging. Praying for you!

    2. Appreciate your post so much, Elizabeth! Loved your son’s comments 🙂

  13. Sunday/Monday   Icebreaker

    1. What stood out to you from the above and why?first praying about gallbladder surgery! Praying for you also to be greatly comforted on this anniversary of grief. I wish too that i lived closer to help you.

    I liked all of the reminders of the deeper sabbath rest He has for us.

    2. Can you share an everyday example of surrendering to God in the last two weeks and experiencing His peace? Or not surrendering and experiencing continued anxiety or pain? Anytime I take my eyes off Jesus I drift. I realize the signals in my body and redirect my eyes to gaze upon Him! I have examples of both! But the most recent was Friday. My daughter started running a really dangerously high fever for several hours. I knew it was out of my hands, I felt hopeless but redirected to Him. He comforted my soul and helped me remember He holds her in His hands. I prayed and waited and watched…as I did this my anxious heart was washed over with His peace. I also was reminded what great love I have for her and how I take it for granted that she will be with me forever. I find myself appreciating her life even more so. She is better today on her birthday! 🙂 I am thankful and need to remember to enter into His sabbath rest.

    1. love this angela “my anxious heart was washed over with His peace”–and happy birthday to your daughter 🙂

    2. Angela, Encouraging story of how you turned and rested in Him in the middle of a scary health situation with your daughter-something you were helpless in. I have to admit if it were me and I was in the middle of a helpless situation in regard to the health of my son-I don’t know..I am sure my first reaction would be anxiety..yet you caught that body signal and turned and prayed and rested..So good.

    3. Wow Angela so good and happy birthday to our daughter.

    4. Glad to know that you daughter is better for her birthday

    5. Happy late Birthday, Angela’s little sweetheart! So thankful your anxious heart, was washed over with his peace!

    6. I hope your daughter had a great birthday, Angela! Thankful she is well.

  14. I heard this song on the radio in the Van this morning..oh my..Had to share:

    http://youtu.be/DzJH4YeqfuQ

    Here are the lyrics:

    My foes are many, they rise against me
    But I will hold my ground
    I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm
    My help is on the way, my help is on the way

    Oh, my God, He will not delay
    My refuge and strength always
    I will not fear, His promise is true
    My God will come through always, always

    TROUBLES SURROUND ME, CHAOS ABOUNDING
    MY SOUL WILL REST IN YOU
    MY SOUL WILL REST IN YOU
    I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm
    My help is on the way, my help is on the way

    Oh, my God, He will not delay
    My refuge and strength always
    I will not fear, His promise is true
    My God will come through always, always

    I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
    I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
    I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
    I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
    From You Lord, from You Lord

    Oh, my God, He will not delay
    My refuge and strength always
    I will not fear, His promise is true
    My God will come through always, always

    Oh, my God, He will not delay
    My refuge and strength always, always

    1. Thanks for this Rebecca. How appropriate for our study 🙂

  15. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

    The picture of the emu got my attention 🙂 I was feeling somewhat cross-eyed in my brain last week. And when I step back and look at myself, the picture can be amusing.

    Also, it’s time for me to explore (again) how God is calling me to embrace a weekly Sabbath rest.

    2. Can you share an everyday example of surrendering to God in the last two weeks and experiencing His peace? Or not surrendering and experiencing continued anxiety

    Sometimes my brain gets in the way of God speaking to my heart! After a looking at the “hard” Hebrews passages last week and then Friday and Saturday listening to Tim Keller describe and give examples of how our worldviews impact our values and beliefs, I drove into the church parking lot this morning and groaned. The Bible verse referred to on the church sign potentially could be interpreted differently from different theological perspectives. Then during a hymn, I started to see that the verses would have different meanings to Arminians vs Calvinists. I couldn’t wrap my brain around both meanings, compare them, and absorb the meaning of the hymn all at the same time DURING the hymn. I wanted to seek God, yet realized that I would be bonkers by the end of the service if I continued to try to understand the rest of the service (especially the sermon) through multiple theological lenses at the same time. I asked God to clear my mind, open my heart and help me see Jesus.

    Good hymns posted by Elizabeth and Diane. I read Elizabeth’s post before I went to church but couldn’t remember all the lyrics on the way to church (most familiar with the traditional version and couldn’t quite make the connection without the traditional melody firmly planted in my brain); yet, I think the lyrics I could remember prepared me to seek Him during the service.

    Another one from YouTube which will help anchor me this week: http://youtu.be/LAVPXScshwQ (My Faith has found a resting place)

      1. Dee, The reference was to “lukewarm Christians,” but I’m not so sure I would always use “lukewarm” and “Christian” in the same phrase, probably because of my semi-Reformed thinking 🙂

        Forgot to add earlier: “Making a cryptic political comment about misplaced hope” on Facebook is something I would do =) (haven’t done it yet; maybe now I won’t!) One quote I’ve seen going around FB is “no matter who is President, Jesus is King.” I agree; but the challenge is that is has been posted and liked by people who have made so many angry political comments on FB that I can’t make myself “like” the comment (and, of course, there is the issue of how Jesus come as a King in the way many expected). SOOO, maybe I shouldn’t participate in FB discussions if I wouldn’t have the nerve to have them face-to-face. “Misplaced hope” is so evident in politics (both sides) — blows me away.

        I like that Keller doesn’t indicate his political party in order not to give the impression that “godliness” is associated more with one political party than another. In the talk I listened to last night, he pointed out that Europe, home of state churches, is where Christianity is not flourishing. In contrast, Christianity is growing rapidly in some countries in which Christianity was banned. Living in an area in which the church is persecuted would clean out the “lukewarm” very quickly!

        Learned something else, too, from above: I didn’t know septic tanks had motors. Do all of them?

        1. We have one at lake, but I haven’t heard of a motor with it 🙂

          Good reminder about leaving those decisions (probably even septic tank ones!) to Him; they ARE HIS decisions. When I remember that, I have peace (and maybe seem less like a cross-eyed emu 🙂 )

    1. Renee, I felt like the Emu too last week. I realized I still had in my mind what I was taught the last time I went through Hebrews which wasn’t accurate teaching. It didn’t square with the rest of scripture.

      1. 🙂

  16. Dee, I will join with the others in praying for you Tuesday. This is a very good post. I hope that I can join back in.

    God is working so deep in my heart right now and for several days I have been trying to formulate an update to share here. I have been slow because I know He is not finished and also I struggle with expression.

    For quite a few months I have been dissatisfied with my growth spiritually. I was at the end of doing all that I knew to do (perhaps right where I needed to be). My heart was still hard and I knew it.

    That is why I went for prayer. I knew something was blocking my growth. In the weeks since then I have spent every morning in Genesis and God has shown me much about myself that I just could not see. Anger has been a big part of my problem. I thought I must have been born with it and may have been, but what I saw was Cain’s sin. Why was Cain’s offering not acceptable when Abel’s was? Precisely because it was his and not God’s. It was Cain’s righteousness not Christ’s (sacrificial blood). As a result Cain was angry and he sinned. Never really repenting he began the whole ‘worldly’ way of life. I don’t know if that part really applies to me. The Lord is showing me this in stages. Now I understand what the Lord was saying to me when He told me to stop trying to cover myself. For me it went beyond idolatry to self righteousness. I know we talked about that but I just couldn’t see it.

    Another sin has been self sufficiency and independence. This is a familial sin I think because it was respected in my family. If I was not strong and able I had no worth, at least that was my perception. That may be the source of the idol of approval. It makes for very cold relationships I must say.

    All of this is very sad and ugly. I’m so glad it is covered by my Savior. So glad to be able see it so that I could repent. Even though I have not been here, I have sensed your prayers for me. Thank you so much!

    1. ANNE! I missed you! 🙂 I was listening to another Keller sermon today about the Cross..Your post reminded me of it. Keller said that the Cross reminds us that we are so bad He had to die for us, yet we are so valued and loved He was glad to die for us. So good to see you are keeping your eyes on the cross..Love you. 🙂

    2. I agree with Rebecca I too have missed you Anne!

      I am glad to know that God is showing truths to you, I can relate to much of what you said, my family also valued self sufficiency, weakness was the worst thing you could display. I feel like I struggle with expression too.

      The Cain & Abel thoughts are so good.

    3. So glad to hear from you, Anne. Deep stuff you are sharing! Thank you for allowing us to glimpse your journey!

    4. Your welcome Anne! (for prayers for you) Missed you!

    5. good to be reading your post and glad you came back! 🙂

    6. Anne,
      It’s so good to hear an update from you. Thank you for sharing some of what God is doing in your life. I feel He really gives you deep insightfulness into your heart. I think it was Dee who said that you are a contemplative – I agree.
      Will be praying for you as you journey on.

    7. Hey Anne, Good to “see” you back here!

  17. Sunday/Monday Icebreaker

    1. What stood out to you from the above and why? – My heart laughed and was sad at it all. The pictures of the animals are funny and made me laugh. The trials Dee that you have faced these last two weeks and how you handled them can only make me admire you more for how you handled it or should I say not handled it and let God handle it. Your up coming surgery I can see how you would be anxious because of the day, but I will be praying for wisdom to be given to the doctors and for you to have peace and comfort during the next couple weeks as you heal. It’s so comforting to know that God will be there for us and come thru if we move out-of-the-way and let Him in.

    2. Can you share an everyday example of surrendering to God in the last two weeks and experiencing His peace? Or not surrendering and experiencing continued anxiety or pain? – the most recent thing I can think of is with Kyle and the trouble he was in from the army. I was writing everyone I could think of from the White House, the Vice President, Congressmen, anyone I could think of. But nothing was happening. No letters were being sent back. The worship music that Sunday after I wrote the letters was what I needed to hear, the band played (Everlasting God, Hosanna, Always, you Never Let Go and Lord I need You). Great songs for heart that’s aching. I my son also was a help although I’m sure he did not realize it, when I called to ask if he heard anything he said back to me “I’m not worrying about it anymore since I can’t do anything about it.” WOW ok Lord I got it. I stepped back and God was able to get in there and do the work that was needed to be done. Kyle was cleared on all negative drug tests, the insurance they use just so happened to forget to tell the army he was on prescribed drugs and recently this week he has gotten his letter that he is authorized to clear Fort Riley without orders which means he’s on the homestretch of coming home for good. God is so amazing when we let Him do the work that He needs to do and we step out-of-the-way.

    1. Excellent news about Kyle…yeah God!

      1. Amen to that Nanci.

        1. Thumbs up on Kyle!

    2. Julie, SO thankful about Kyle, both the results AND his attitude! Thanks for sharing so that we may rejoice with you.

    3. Julie-WOW. What a great picture of His power and faithfulness–love this story–praise!

    4. Great story Julie! I’m so glad about Kyle 🙂 it is true; when we step aside, God is there for us. Thanks for the reminder.

    5. Julie, so glad to know that all of this now seems to be moving in a positive direction for Kyle

    6. Praise God! I had been praying for Kyle’s situation, even tho I didn’t know it..but God knew and that’s all that mattered! I’m so thankful everything worked out so well!

    7. Julie, So glad to hear of Kyle finally coming home for good and especially to hear of God’s goodness to you and Kyle-wow! 🙂

    8. Julie,
      Thankful for answered prayer for Kyle!

  18. Such good comments already.

    We spent the day traveling today, after a wedding reception last night we had an 1 1/2 hour drive back to where we were staying, then our flight left at 6:30 am, after a restless couple of hours, we were out the door by 4:00 am this morning. The trip ended with one lost bag, I am exhausted and so grateful to be home.

    I thought of you many times today Dee, during travel irritations and discomforts, how much traveling you do for ministry purposes. I felt empathy for the difficulties you experience & honored to be one who has been blessed by your willingness to bring the messages God lays on your heart.

    My heart aches for you about the day that marks your loss, I thought about that too while traveling with my husband, and how nice it is to have him take charge, do the heavy lifting and such, the comfort that comes from being with him, and I thought of your loss, I am so sorry.

    I have thought about what confidence Steve had in you, I like to imagine that the prayers he prayed when he was ill for you and your ministry, that God has been pleased to answer those prayers.

    Will the gall bladder surgery bring an end to your reflux issues? I hope so and will be praying.

    1. So glad you are finally home and safe.

    2. Chris, so thankful you are home and hope you get your lost bag. I loved that picture of you and your husband on fb!

    3. Chris, Thankful you made it home safe and sound! Hope you get your lost bag back soon and that there wasn’t anything important in it. 🙁

  19. I have to laugh everytime I click comment, I see that funny picture of the emu!

    I’m so glad, Dee that you have normal things going wrong all the time, like I do. Let’s refrain that…I’m not happy you have things go wrong, but happy to hear you are like the rest of us! Just today I was yelled at by an angry lady…long story, but I’ve been in the dumps about it all day! I just hate it, because I’m a people pleaser, so when I can’t fix the situation, I’m depressed, and must give it to him.

    I was one of those in the audience that day when you spoke in Cozad, and prayed and felt nervous for you during those long minutes waiting for the problem to be fixed. I was so thankful God heard our prayers!!

    Being 63, I grew up in the time where everything was shut down on sundays. You couldn’t even get gas or milk. It was your day of rest! Nowdays, society doesn’t recognize sunday as a day of rest at all, only our churches do. But sunday’s have always been a special “God’s day” for me and do feel like crawling up in Jesus’s arms, like that precious picture of daddy and baby, more on that day, than any other.

    The picture of “Rose”, the dog with fear in her eye’s is kinda scary for me, because I am such an animal lover…especially dogs…that I feel fear when my little “Penny” looks like Rose does there! It makes me want to run into Jesus’s arms again.

    Dee, my prayers are for you tuesday, (a sad day anyway, with Steve being gone 8 years that day) when you have your surgery. I had my gall bladder out a few years ago and it’s not so bad, because they do everything through tiny little places. I do hope you will have someone to be with you and help you, tho. I will be praying for you. Jesus will be holding you and Steve will be watching over you, making sure the surgent does everything well.

      1. So glad you have family there to be with you for the next couple of days. I pray the surgery goes smoothly. Praying also for you as you face the sombre anniversary. May God seem especially close during this time.

      2. Oh Dee, I can’t imagine a family member being angry at you!

  20. 2. Can you share an everyday example of surrendering to God in the last two weeks and experiencing His peace? Or not surrendering and experiencing continued anxiety or pain?

    When my daughter was here for a visit, we had some long talks..about my control idol and about God. I’ve been surrendering to God everysince, even when she was here, crying into my pillow, as not to wake Kendra, next to me and knowing my daughter was upstairs and couldn’t hear. But I don’t know if I have experienced peace about it yet.

    My oldest daughter use to tell me how she has always prayed since she gave her heart to the Lord (when she was about 10 years old), but since she has been married, (3 years) she tells me differently now and believes like he does,in evalution and that the bible is not to be believed. She says it was all written by the Romans and the bible stories are just that..stories. I tried to talk to her, but she was not listening. I know I will not be the one to plant a seed in him and her either…it will have to be from someone else.

    The other part that hurts so bad, was that my son, felt the same way, she said. They were raised by me loving the Lord and praying for them since they were born. I’m in shock and horrified. I didn’t let on how much it hurt me, because the last thing I wanted was to spoil her visit. Then she said they didn’t want children and neither did my son (not married). Another heart breaker for me.

    So I’ve been surrendering to God, but haven’t felt his peace yet. It’s been just the opposite, I have been doubting God, myself.
    My kids are, like all of you, my earthly life, and when I think of them not going to heaven, I want to just crumble and die. Kendra is covered because she is special needs and like a child, but I would never have imagined my two older kids having feelings like that, when I have always loved God with all my heart, all of their life’s. I am so heartbroken. It makes me doubt my own faith.

    I just posted last week or the week before how the kids and I would pray and we would get groceries and things we needed when I was a single parent and how those memories helped build their faith. Evidentaly I was wrong and that was just my imagination. I’m so confussed and don’t understand. Maybe I’m angry at God, I just know my heart is so heavy and feels like it is in my throat and all I can do is cry. My husband thinks it’s because I am missing my daughter..which I am…and so is Kendra, but I can’t talk to him about this, because he would say I was silly to even worry about it. Please pray for my kids and I…thank you.

    1. Joyce, I am so sorry. This is such deep pain for a mother. Do you remember my spider web, stretching in the breeze? The thought of my children still attached to Him by this strong, stretchy, invisible cord gives me such hope. They may run, but He is still able. I am praying now for both of them. Rest in Him dear sister

      1. So sorry for your pain, Joyce. I will pray for your children’s hearts to soften and that God may draw them ever closer. You planted many “seeds” when your kids were young and you nurtured those seeds along the way; through your example you are continuing to witness to them. Your kids may be distant from and doubtful of God presently, but this also might be what brings them closer and gives them greater strength in their faith. I believe that all is possible with God… Our God is persistent and faithful…I trust that He will woo them home.

        1. I agree with Nanci’s wise words Joyce “Our God is persistent and faithful…I trust that He will woo them home.”
          praying for you dear Joyce

        2. Joyce-

          It wasn’t your imagination….these memories will come back to them and build onntheornfaith when you and they least expect it. When we young adults taste a little freedom we get carried away, but soon find the emptiness a false kind of freedom brings. Don’t worry, one day when your children (who are so confident they have things figured out) are at the grocery store the Holy Spirit will tap them on their shoulder…and begin to work on their souls in a way that brings them to their knees! Been there done that! But I promise I will remember you all in my prayers!

          Sarah P.

    2. Oh Joyce I know exactly how you feel. Kyle has his doubts, but the best thing to do like Anne said is to pray for them. I will be praying for both your daughter and son that their hearts soften and grasp the ways of the Lord. Stay strong and don’t doubt your faith, you are a strong Christian woman and God loves you and your children.

    3. Oh Joyce. My heart goes out to you. Your pain is palpable here. Wish I could be there to cry with you and give you a hug. You have been through so much. The Enemy is speaking such powerful lies to many of our adult children these days. My prayers are for you and your children that God’s truth will break through. I too am going through heartbreak with some of my adult children, stuff I don’t feel I can share in detail here, so I can identify. Cling to the Lord and rest in Him.

    4. Oh Joyce, Praying for you and praying that God will bring the Word they heard growing up to life in them.

    5. Oh Joyce, this is heart wrenching! I will pray too. So sorry.

      1. Anne, Julie, Dee, Diane, Renee and Kim; thank you so much for your prayers. I know my faith is honest and true, no matter what the evil one has been putting in my head, because I need my Saviour so desperately, moment to moment. I couldn’t live one hour without him. He lifts me up and holds me and comforts me and tells me “I am him own”. I pray I will be the example for my kids, that my Father in Heaven wants me to be.

    6. Joyce,
      The pain you are feeling really comes through your post, it is raw, and deep. I am so, so sorry. You have modeled faith for your kids since they were small, like praying for groceries. I can’t help but think that tho’ they may deny it now, those memories are not forgotten by them. It is not your imagination that it impacted them when they were small, and one day, only God knows the things they will face in their lives, and that is when the things that really matter, things of eternal importance, come to the surface.
      Praying for Him to come to you. It’s okay to lament to Him, and tell Him that you are confused, and hurt, and don’t understand. Praying for you, dear Joyce.

      1. Joyce, I want to reach out to you in your pain and give you a hug. What a difficult time you are struggling through. I sense that you are “walking through the valley of the shadow of death” in your heart. Lord, I pray that Joyce will fear no evil and feel the comfort and protection of your staff as it guides her through this heartbreaking time. Please use your rod and staff to bring her children back to you, good shepherd. Amen

        1. Thank you, Becky…so glad you are here.

      2. Thank you Susan, I know you are right about facing trials ahead of them which will bring them to their knees. I’d like to protect them from pain, as any mother would, but pain and trials are what brought me to this place. And I thank him for that, otherwise I would be lost.

    7. Joyce, I am truly sorry. I understand your feelings completely. I have found much comfort in Dee’s new book and of course the women here. Rebecca and Dee brought up great points last week…..God lost a third of His angels, and even Adam and Eve were disobedient. I struggle with this everyday because I too want my children to experience Heaven. You have done your job here on earth. We can only model what we know from Jesus. Someday our children will take note. It is hard to ignore the beauty we exude when we are Christ-like. They will see Him in you. They will know what they are missing. They will also want that peace. It may be a long time however, we must have faith and pray without ceasing.

      1. Laura, I know you are right; I may never see them change, but I will pray for them untill the day I go home to be with Jesus. There is a verse that suggests that our loved ones will be saved, through our prayers; something like that. Wish could remember it. I will clam it. Thank you, Laura.

        1. I also love this quote from Dee’s book. “God calls us to love one another as the imperfect beings we are rather than blame each other for not being who we want each other to be.” Madeleine L’Engle

  21. 3. As vital background, Read Numbers 14:1-23

    A. Describe the unbelief of the Israelites and how they treated Moses and Aaron.

    They were impatient. They were losing their faith in Moses and Aaron. Life was hard and they were giving up.

    B. Yet Moses still interceded for them — what did he pray and how did God respond?

    He asked God to forgive the people for their unbelief. God said He would but the people would never see the land of milk and honey.

  22. Begin memorizing Hebrews 4:15-16. There is great assurance and comfort here.

    3. As vital background, Read Numbers 14:1-23

    A. Describe the unbelief of the Israelites and how they treated Moses and Aaron.

    They feared what was to come if they went into the land and took it from those who were living there. They didn’t trust that God would protect them because he was giving them the land and hearkened back to their time in Egypt where even though they were enslaved they didn’t have to worry about being slaughtered by an enemy.

    They treated Moses and Aaron like they were sticks in the way that they could kick aside-they were of no value anymore. They talked about stoning them. They wanted to find a new leader and go back to Egypt.

    B. Yet Moses still interceded for them — what did he pray and how did God respond?

    God was heart broken-I believe he was passionately angry and jealous and wanted to strike them down, but Moses was concerned that the Egyptians would tell the inhabitants of the new land that God brought the Israelites out of Egypt but he was unable to bring them to the land so he killed them. Moses quoted God that He was slow to anger, abounding in Love and forgiveness-He asked God to pardon them, to forgive them of their sin and rebellion.

    God forgave them from the penalty of sin, but still wouldn’t allow them to enter the land-only Caleb’s decendants because Caleb followed Him whole heartedly. I see now where God saves us from the penalty of sin but He longs for us to enter His rest. I see that now in this passage!

  23. 3. As vital background, Read Numbers 14:1-23

    A. Describe the unbelief of the Israelites and how they treated Moses and Aaron. – they did not trust what Moses and Aaron were saying to them was true. They were whining and wanted to stone them and find a new leader.

    B. Yet Moses still interceded for them — what did he pray and how did God respond? – Moses reminded God of all His good traits, his strength, power and glory. That he’s slow to anger and is abounding in love and forgiveness but yet not weak to be walked over. Will still give out the punishment if needed.

  24. 4. Read Hebrews 3:16-19 and answer:

    A. Who heard the good news of the promised land but rebelled? Describe what their lives were like for forty years and how they died. – All those that Moses led out of Egypt. They were in the wilderness and they perished there. I get a picture in my mind they were like tumble weeds just blowing here and there with no secure root to grasp on to.

    B. Numbers tells us that God forgave them — yet they lived miserable lives. What kept them from experiencing peace and joy? – Being disobedient and not repenting from their ways of not trusting that God knew what was best for them and that God would take care of them.

    C. Do you feel you are entering into the grand adventure of trusting Him? If so, how? – I do think that I am. I may do what I think I should do as a person on this earth, but I find myself letting go quicker and giving it to God. It’s almost like I get the attitude of not caring or I’m tired of trying so I release the issue and let God take over.

  25. 3. As vital background, read Numbers 14:1-23.
    A. Describe the unbelief of the Israelites and how they treated Moses and Aaron.

    The Israelites react very strongly to the negative prospects for entering the Promised Land which seems to them filled with other people who are too strong for them to conquer. They challenge God’s purposes, power and the leadership of Moses. God reacts in anger to their rebellion. He proposes to destroy the nation and start again with Moses as the father of the nation.

    B. Yet Moses still interceded for them — what did he pray and how did God respond?

    Moses prays, acting as mediator for the Israelites, pointing out that if God destroys the Israelites that the other nations would ridicule the Israelite God. He also reminds God of his promise to Abraham that his descendents would inherit the land and he also quotes God’s character to prove his forgiving spirit.

    God responds by forgiving, but says these Israelites will never see the Promised Land, only their children. There are consequences for rebellion.

  26. 4. Read Hebrews 3:16-19 and answer:
    A. Who heard the good news of the Promised Land but rebelled? Describe what their lives were like for forty years and how they died.

    It was all the Israelites who rebelled except Moses, Joshua and Caleb. They wandered from place to place in almost constant discouragement and periodic rebellion.

    B. Numbers tells us that God forgave them — yet they lived miserable lives. What kept them from experiencing peace and joy?

    Their disobedience

    C. Do you feel you are entering into the grand adventure of trusting Him? If so, how?

    Yes, definitely. Over and over again, as difficult circumstances are thrown my way, God says to me, “Will you trust me in this?” We are in the midst of a storm right now and I can’t say it is any fun, but I do have the assurance that God is with me and He sees the purpose and the result that I cannot see. My security idol is surely taking a battering. When my mind flits into a “worst case scenario”, I remind myself of His promises and His sacrificial love for me and that gives me hope, though I don’t “feel” joy right now. What exactly is joy? Is it possible to trust and still not have joy?

    1. I think it is possible to Trust and still not have Joy, Diane. Praying for you and your family now, Diane.

  27. 3. As vital background, Read Numbers 14:1-23

    A. Describe the unbelief of the Israelites and how they treated Moses and Aaron.

    They wept, complained, questioned the leadership of Moses and Aaron, had a serious case of forgetfulness about the problems they had in Egypt, and talked about stoning them.

    It looked like the Israelites were mad at Moses and Aaron, but “the Lord said to Moses, ‘How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?'” They actually were treating God with contempt and refusing to believe in Him, despite all the miracles.

    Conviction here: Need to examine if I am treating God with contempt and unbelief when I complain about others.

    B. Yet Moses still interceded for them — what did he pray and how did God respond?

    Interesting. Looks like God initiated this conversation when He appeared at the front of the tent.

    God to Moses: “These people are treating me with contempt and unbelief. I’m going to destroy them but will turn you into a strong nation.”

    Moses to God: “You won’t look good to the Egyptians and other nations who heard how You took the Israelites out of Egypt. They will think you’re couldn’t keep your promise and you aren’t powerful.” Then Moses reminded God of His power, love and forgiveness, and asked God to forgive the Israelites.

    God to Moses: I forgive them but those who SAW MY GLORY, sinned against Me, tested me, etc will not see the promised land.

    WOW! Big consequences for those who reject God when they have been given SO MUCH and continue to sin against Him.

    Uff! Self-examination point #2

    1. “Conviction here: Need to examine if I am treating God with contempt and unbelief when I complain about others.”

      Renee, wish I could hug you and wince at the same time. I needed you to say this to me. The Lord has been trying to get my attention on this and I keep brushing it aside. My internal voice is busy criticizing others these days because I am feeling hurt and trying to defend myself and my family. Yet that is no reason to justify a critical spirit. Oh, Lord, help!

      1. I agree with you Diane, Renee the conviction that I need to examine my self when I complain about others and I can add here just complain. WOW!

    2. Renee, I love this…”WOW! Big consequences for those who reject God when they have been given SO MUCH and continue to sin against Him”.

      1. 🙂

  28. Dee, please keep up posted about how you are, when you can. Will continue to pray for you.

    1. Yes Dee please keep us posted are you are doing. Will be praying!

  29. I marvel at all the great posts you women write. I love the way all of you want to follow God in you inner most being. Dee, I am praying for you as you have your gall bladder out tomorrow. I had mine out a few years ago – and survived – and thrived!
    I have been given the assignment today to teach on Psalm 23:4 in prison on Wednesday. Does anyone have any thoughts or references for me? Prayers would be greatly appreciated too. The women in the prison have captured my heart and I want to capture theirs with the heart of God.

    1. Wow Becky I have no insight but will be praying.

      1. Thank you Julie!

    2. Wow, Becky, what an opportunity! Will pray for wisdom for you.

      Agreed — I’ve thrived after having body parts cut out that weren’t functioning properly 🙂

      1. Thank you for your prayers, Julie

    3. Becky, I can’t think of any thoughts for you, but I’m praying now that God will fill you with his spirit and lift you up and use you in a mighty way for those that need so badly to hear God’s word.

      1. Thank you Joyce. I can already feel your prayers and the prayers of the other ladies as He gives me insight into this verse.

    4. Becky,
      Thank you for sharing about your being in prison ministry with us, and I will pray for you for Wednesday. I don’t have any references to offer, but on this site, I don’t know if you’ve ever watched Dee’s videos of her teaching in the Texas prisons? They may inspire you as you go and teach these ladies! Click on the tab at the top of the page that says Prison Ministry!

      1. Susan, I have seen Dee’s videos in the prison and love them. In fact, the books that accompany them should be arriving this week. I am so excited to use them with the women. That will start in the next few weeks. Please join me in praying that God will use them in a powerful way.

      1. Thank you for those insights Dee. I will use them. You are so loved, and I am lifting you up especially today.

  30. A. Describe the unbelief of the Israelites and how they treated Moses and Aaron. They were looking back at Egypt (obviously forgetting the hard labor and pain of slavery) desiring what they had there. Not trusting God’s goodness in bringing them out in the wilderness. They wanted a new leader, did not trust the God appointed leaders. Grumbled. Wanted to stone the ones trusting God because of their report.

    B. Yet Moses still interceded for them — what did he pray and how did God respond? Fell on their faces and interceded. Oh how I need to have a heart like this! Moses was first more concerned of protecting God’s reputation.Please pardon them because of your steadfast love (So reminds me of Jesus, forgive them for they not know what they are doing)just as you have forgiven them.

    God said He would listen…they would be forgiven but not enter the land.

  31. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
    If there is one thing I can count on it is Dee’s ability to teach what is relevant to me. Dee’s examples help me grasp the concepts she is trying to convey. I love how I am now tuning in to my body language so that I can more readily identify idol worship.

    2. Can you share an everyday example of surrendering to God in the last two weeks and experiencing His peace? Or not surrendering and experiencing continued anxiety or pain?
    Learning to come to Him more often in my day through studying “A Woman of Moderation” has been a tremendous blessing. I am also reading “Prayers That Avail Much” and the combination of praying aloud and reading the Word as food to feed my soul have been key to loosening the grip that the idol of comfort has had on my for years. I am full of great expectation now as well as peace.

    I was experiencing some anxiety over not always having time to read all the comments and finish my lesson until I realized it was a need for approval. I am focusing on my quiet time with Him right now and that is where I feel called. I will be here as much as possible. Just saying this gives me some peace.

  32. Dear Jesus, we lift this surgery up to you tomorrow. Thank you that you will be present for it, guiding and helping the physician and those caring for Dee. May she have a supernatural recovery. Give her good rest tonight that she needs prior to surgery. I pray that this takes care of the physical difficulties she thought were a result of reflux. Make her well and able to do what you have called her to do according to your great love and mercy. Thank you that there is no curse upon this particular day for it is the day you have made and we will rejoice in it. I pray this prayer with faith. Amen

    1. AMEN AND AMEN!

    2. Yes, Amen to Kim’s prayer.

    3. Amen and standing in agreement!

    4. I’m praying along with you, Kim. Dee I’ll be praying for you all day and hoping all is well and you’ll recover quickly and this will solve your problems you have been having.
      I forgot to mention that Kendra had her gall bladder out 2 years ago and did amazingly well, too. She was having a lot of heartburn or reflux and vomiting..which she has none of now!
      I know you well do great and be so happy you took care of the problem. B ig Hug !! Love you!

  33. 4. Read Hebrews 3:16-19 and answer:

    A. Who heard the good news of the promised land but rebelled? Describe what their lives were like for forty years and how they died. The children of Israel. They grumbled and complained. Doubted God’s goodness, witnessed His miracles and provisions but did not enjoy them fully. They died never entering the promised land. Died in the wilderness.

    B. Numbers tells us that God forgave them — yet they lived miserable lives. What kept them from experiencing peace and joy? Surrender. Complete surrender to God’s leadership, control, leadership.

    C. Do you feel you are entering into the grand adventure of trusting Him? If so, how? Oh how I see my heart like theirs in some ways. When I am dying to myself sometimes I think it may not lead to God’s best yet I know it will! I must persist in belief in that. It frees me to live above my circumstances in His rest not in my misery in it. I can have joy in Him no matter the circumstance if I only surrender all. I want to hold on sometimes to the old. It only leads to misery…Oh I do not want to look back and lust…I need only to press forward to Him alone keeping my eyes fixed on Him. Lord please help my unbelief in your best for me.

    I tantrum ed last night with God about a huge storm. I heard the loudest thunder I have ever heard in my life. Of course it caused much fear and suffering in my youngest daughters life. I was angry with God not trusting Him. I wanted to shake my fist at Him not trusting His best. I could not see the good of it. I still cannot yet I know it is another opportunity for her to trust Him. I was feeling so sick that night and kept getting woken up all night long over and over. Then the little one woke up scared. Oh it was a rough night. But this morning I was challenged to trust. I was struck by the Israelites looking back and grumbling and I cried. I do not want to be like that toward the ONE and ONLY who loves me perfectly though I do not understand all His ways. I think it is those little things that are harder for me to trust…Lord help me. Then I pictured it as a lover’s quarrel. Maybe that is too intimate but a lover has His best at heart for the one He adores. I wanted to rant at Him yet He chased me back wooing me to know He is my lover and has my best at heart even to the point of painful circumstances.

    1. Angela, I know about night’s like that, with Kendra. It’s not easy.

  34. 5. Read Hebrews 4:1-3

    A. Now the author is talking in the present to us. How can you see that from verses 1 and 2? – He talks about the promise of entering into his rest STILL STANDS and we better not fall short, we need to be doing something with it and not hide it.

    B. Challenge question (and important) Do you see the word “gospel” or “good news” in verse 2? Describe a stressful situation you are facing and now explain how the gospel could help you face it and relax in your Father’s arms. – long with the good news of Kyle getting close to coming home for good, there is the other side of him having live with is until he gets on his feet. I don’t have a problem with that at all, but what is starting to stress me out and wear me down is having Joe, my youngest step son who is 31, my 17-year-old son, Kyle, his wife and the new baby when he comes into this world mid January all living with me and I say ME. I am tired of being, maid, chef and referee. They come home from work and sit and watch TV, very rarely do they ask if they can help. I know now I have to pray them over to God. For their hearts, minds and eyes to be open to see where the need is at and just get up and do it. I love them all, but right now I’m not liking them too much. I know this sounds harsh, but I’m laying in bed sick, didn’t go to work and took Pork Chops out to eat so we will see if they make them or ask me “what’s for dinner” lol

    1. I’m sorry your sick, Julie and hope your feeling better by morning. I understand your situation, as my son had to come live at home about 5 years ago to get on his feet, too and as much as we love them, it is a hard burden to bear. But I know he hated having to live at home again, more than I hated all the extra work. He had his great dane sleeping with him, which caused a lot of hair problems! But looking back it was a good experience and we drew closer because of it. I can’t imagine all your going to have in your home, tho! I’ll be praying!

  35. Heavenly Father,
    We are each one lifting up our sister Dee to You this morning, may our prayers come before You and be pleasing to You! How we pray that You will part the heavens and come down, and be an undeniable Presence in the operating room today that everyone may feel. Guide the surgeon’s hands supernaturally, Lord, and hold Dee in the palm of Your hand. Comfort Dee’s family as they wait. We pray for your healing and a complete, full recovery for Dee, and for her to be at rest in You.
    In Jesus’ Name,
    Amen

    1. Amen! Will be praying. What is the surgery Dee?

      1. Oops should have said what time is the surgery.

    2. What a beautiful prayer, Susan…and I’m praying it now with you, for our precious Dee.

  36. 1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

    The picture of the highway with the rest stop sign and the shadowy image of the tree with the child swinging really caught my attention. I have spent over the years of raising kids many hours in the car, driving to practices, games, swim meets, errands, school, etc…
    So many days, always in a hurry, always so much to get done. That image of the child, so carefree, his bare feet dangling from the swing, just, well, seems to help me sense the need to return to that simple way of life of a child, if only on the inside.
    Many days, there are so many pressing cares and concerns going on, and the child on the swing just speaks to my heart. I think the child symbolizes for me the inner place of quiet rest Jesus died to give me.

    I appreciate Dee’s honesty in giving us the real-life examples of stress she’s had to deal with the past 2 weeks, especially the problem in a relationship with a relative. I’m not happy that she had to have it happen, but it sure is something that I think every one of us here can relate to. We all have these same kinds of struggles in our daily lives, things breaking, going wrong, misunderstandings, health problems, problems at work.
    It is helpful to see how Dee handled these with the truth of the gospel.

      1. This is good news, Dee. We need to keep praying for this relationship.

      2. That is wonderful Dee! God has his hand on that person!

      3. Dee, That is wonderful news.

  37. 4. Read Hebrews 3:16-19 and answer:

    A. Who heard the good news of the promised land but rebelled? Describe what their lives were like for forty years and how they died.

    Th Israelites. They were stuck in thr desert and eventually died in the wilderness.

    B. Numbers tells us that God forgave them — yet they lived miserable lives. What kept them from experiencing peace and joy?

    Thier disbelief.

    C. Do you feel you are entering into the grand adventure of trusting Him? If so, how?

    I feel like I trust God. I just dont understand Him. So often I wish I could see the whole picture, but I have to be content with just 1 small piece of the puzzle.

  38. 2. Can you share an everyday example of surrendering to God in the last two weeks and experiencing His peace? Or not surrendering and experiencing continued anxiety or pain?

    Every Sunday school class at my church has been assigned missionaries to pray for and I am the liasion for my class, so I email and keep in touch with them and give updates. One of the families was in town last weekend. I had gotten a call last Monday night from the woman who is the coordinator of all the liasions, asking if our class could take this missionary family with four kids on an outing on Saturday. I wasn’t able to reach my Sunday school leader until Wednesday, and I was panicking, and feeling I can’t do this, this isn’t my area of giftedness to plan things like this, I thought other ladies in my class would be in charge of that part when missionaries were in town. I was given the option to just say no – I was focusing all on myself, like I had to do it all.
    My leader reminded me (because I can be so lame) that God would work this out, and everything would come together, and we were doing it for Him, and for the church, and for the missionaries. (I needed to be redirected in my thinking)
    I chose a local farm that has a Fall Festival every year with wagon rides, games like pumpkin rolling and spud-slinging, a corn maze, and food. We’ve had a lot of rain this Fall, so I was anxious about the weather. My leader helped me get the word out to all the ladies in our class. My husband graciously allowed me to use our money to cover the cost of the misisionary family until we are reimbursed by the church.
    It turned out that last Saturday, we had a beautiful, warm, sunny day. Other ladies from my class came, some bringing their kids, and I brought my daughter. The missionary family’s kids, ages 18 months to 14, had so much fun. We all did. In fact, that day and I heard afterwards, the parents had really wanted to do some kind of Fall activity with their kids, because they are in the States but travelling to visit their sponsoring churches and families, and they figured that their Fall experience would be seeing the leaves as they drove place to place. The father said how much this day ministered to them. And, I happened to have two large bags of clothing that my daughter had outgrown in my car that I’d forgotten to drop off at a Good Neighbor location, so I asked the mom if her two daughters, 12 and 14, would like to look through the clothes. They did, and were able to use most of them.

    It was when I got my eyes off of myself (my default mode) that I saw how God worked, even through someone as imperfect as me. We were all blessed that day.

    1. Susan, what a beautiful story! You were a blessing for this family. Goes to show what God can do, through us, if we only let him:)

    2. Love this, Susan. You and I are alike in this. Sometimes organizing things fall into my lap and I can fall into my default panic mode with my eyes focusing on me instead of God. So glad you and the missionary family and the others had a blessed day. Your struggles and surrender are an encouragement to me.

  39. 4. Read Hebrews 3:16-19 and answer:

    A. Who heard the good news of the promised land but rebelled? Describe what their lives were like for forty years and how they died. The Israelites-the ones who God redeemed out of slavery from Egypt. They were miserable for forty years wandering in the desert until they all died. They never got to enter the promised land.

    B. Numbers tells us that God forgave them — yet they lived miserable lives. What kept them from experiencing peace and joy?

    They kept looking back to Egypt-their comfort idol had them and convinced them life was sweeter there so they were constantly dissatisfied with where God had them. Their eyes were fixed on their circumstances and on the past-they forgot the one who redeemed them from Egypt, who led them as a pillar of fire-who protected them. Their eyes were never fixed on God but on their circumstances..

    C. Do you feel you are entering into the grand adventure of trusting Him? If so, how?

    Oh yes! It is like being in the fire every day..every day because I am still in this flesh, and big storms have been great attention getters, yet they don’t always have to be big to get my attention that this is an opportunity to trust Him..even little things like how I respond to things that annoy me..Yet I find I can be like the Israelites..looking back to Egypt-wanting the immediate fix of comfort my idol offers. The reality is that the storms are necessary for they bring this out-this ugly junk inside and give opportunities to turn, to trust.

    You know, God isn’t surprised with these things in my heart for He knows they are there yet He is still faithful to me-I am His. I break His heart I know yet He still is with me-still woos me out of the cleft. And the peace and the joy He gives-(it doesn’t mean laughing or happy-but a deep contentment and trust that brings a deep river of peace inside-very hard to describe-it is as Paul says indescribable really.)

    I am learning the grand adventure of living the Sabath-trusting Him, albeit SLOWLY! I have SO MUCH FURTHER TO GO in this journey. 🙂 It is daily, minute by minute. Talking with Him-communing with Him, hearing Him and yielding to Him..Not backing away in a storm but taking His hand..I am learning also that when I fail to yield and act as an Israelite, His Grace abounds-yet I don’t want to be lazy and take advantage of Him for it cost Him so much. When I think of what it cost Him that compels me to turn and trust.

    1. Will be lifting you, the doctors and all involved up in prayer Dee!

    2. wow! I thought the same but I can see how doctrine is better. Praying!! May God hold you tight and securely today. Praying for peace as well as you remember Steve. I cannot tell you how precious the stories you told about your relationship has helped me and encouraged me. Especially through out your teaching in the Falling In Love with Jesus series. Thankful for his life and influence!

      Sorry about the septic tank too! We had to have all of ours replaced this past summer. No fun.

    3. Oh! So GLAD JR is there. Praise God! You are so on my Heart today, Dee..

    4. Praying for you, especially today, Dee! For “good” surgery and recovery. Will be checking here for updates. (got on at 5:30 this morning to check 🙂 )

      I guess I’d never thought of flowers and waves and babies with that verse, maybe because I became most aware of the verse when I was hanging on for dear life. At that time, I probably would have thought of flowers dying, waves drowning me, and babies with colic 🙂 That verse automatically turns my heart to God — gotta find the Keller sermon!

      1. Renee,
        I had heard the Philippians passage taught in this way, in a class I was in on being a wife/marriage – that when tempted to brood in my mind about something I didn’t like about my husband, or a bad habit of his, I was to focus on whatever was “true, noble, praiseworthy, good, etc…” about him instead.

        What Dee said about it being about doctrine makes sense. I can insert “Jesus” and He fits all these qualities: true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, worthy of praise!

    5. I haven’t read far enough to see if there is any Comment on how you are doing, Dee, but just have to comments on the Philippians passage to “think on these things”.

      “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
      (Philippians 4:8-9 ESV)

      I agree that these things are about doctrine/theology/God. I woke up very early this morning and could not go back to sleep so lay thinking and praying. I believe the Lord spoke to me with the word “Remember”. It is as if He was saying, “Remember what you know about me, about who I am and what it means in your life. Because I am Almighty, I am in charge of your situation. Because I am Love, I do all things for a loving purpose in your life. Because I am omnipresent, I will never leave you or forsake you or your family. I see the big picture, and it is all right. Remember, Diane, remember.”

      I feel the urgency to stop, sometimes several times a day, and refocus on God and often over quick prayers over the issues I am thinking about.

      Krista has a doctor’s appointment today. Pray that she will be brave and tell the doctor her issues and struggles and that the doctor will be led to point her in the right directions. It is hard to bare yourself emotionally before even those who do care about you and are seeking your best. This doctor is not a Christian as far as I know, but we have no choice. Doctors are scarce here.

      1. Praying Diane, for Krista

      2. Diane,
        Will pray for Krista and her physician. Actually, the physicians and therapists that helped me most over a long period of time weren’t believers. But they were skilled and committed — and I don’t think I could have found better. Praying that Krista will experience “the best.”

      3. Diane–any word on how this went? Will continue the prayers–I know your heart must be so weary. Praying for His peace to cover you.

        1. Thank you, ladies. The appointment went well. No, I don’t believe he is a Christian, but he has a gentle/caring spirit.

  40. Sweet Dee – I am praying for you now! May all go well with your heath, surgery done precisely, and recovery speedily. May you rest in Him as you go through the whole ordeal.

    5. Read Hebrews 4:1-3

    A. Now the author is talking in the present to us. How can you see that from verses 1 and 2? “for the good news came to us just as to them verse two says.

    B. Challenge question (and important) Do you see the word “gospel” or “good news” in verse 2? Describe a stressful situation you are facing and now explain how the gospel could help you face it and relax in your Father’s arms.
    We both got the “good news” or gospel but it did not benefit them because they were not united in faith over it (prohibiting the deeper rest). So in our situations we must be fully surrendered believing by faith what He has done is complete and He will bring us until completion as well. As we live He works out the gospel in us because of what He has done. As we go through trial we must believe it is because He loves us and is shaping us through it. As we believe this by faith we will enter the deeper rest in our present circumstances.

    6. Read Hebrews 4:4-10

    Now the author goes back to creation and how God rested on the 7th Day. Now, as Keller explains, God doesn’t get physically weary as we do — so what is He resting from? What it means, is that “He was satisfied with what He was doing — He said it was good.” That is what it means to go to the deeper rest. You must be satisfied because you have done what God wants you to do and then you surrender to Him the results. This word “satisfied” is also used in Isaiah 53:11 of Jesus — he was in anguish on the cross, but he was satisfied, for He won our salvation.*(How beautiful is this?)

    In the same way, we must get rid of the “eternal murmur” of self-reproach. We are so often unhappy with who we are because we do not believe the gospel. Or we do not trust Him enough, after we have done our best, and repented of what we did poorly, to rest in His arms.

    Oh this is so good! I often would feel I or others around me do not change fast enough and then I would think but who am I to criticize the work of the HOly Spirit in a person. It sets me straight when I remember this. I must rest in this to be satisfied knowing it is not my job to work it but to be faithful in what He calls me to do and wait (rest) in Him. I think my problem is a great lacking of satisfaction. I must retrain my mind on this thought. And help my girls with it too. I see myself becoming a better mother to them as I apply this kind of rest but I fail again so much. I need to leave it with Him in faith.

    A. What did it mean that God rested, if not resting His body? (This is important — read above again if you are unsure.) HA Ha and I love too again how he says, He has somewhere spoken (not using ch. and v. because those did not exist then!!! Not inspired!:)) Talks about how He rested from all His works. So if His body does not need rest it is a rest like stated of satisfaction of what has been done. (There is something to the verse, “although His works were finished from the foundation of the world” I like that and cannot help to think of the verse “He will bring completion what He started in you” So really no need to worry about you or anyone else but just rest in the promises. Hold tight to them in satisfaction it is all being worked out for our good and His glory.

    B. Meditate on Hebrews 4:9-10 for there is great assurance here. It also shows the deeper rest, by comparing our rest to the rest God felt. (He was satisfied.) This is important. Nice

    1. Love your description of rest; it helps me to understand it better….“although His works were finished from the foundation of the world” I like that and cannot help to think of the verse “He will bring completion what He started in you” So really no need to worry about you or anyone else but just rest in the promises. Hold tight to them in satisfaction it is all being worked out for our good and His glory”.

      Thank you, Angela; I need so badly to rest in his promises.

      1. Thanks Joyce! I need to preach this to myself!!!!!!!!

        Praying for you often dear lady!

    2. So wise Angela, I needed this ” I often would feel I or others around me do not change fast enough and then I would think but who am I to criticize the work of the HOly Spirit in a person.”

  41. Becky from Ohio,

    I wanted to hop on as I am in a rush this morning..I wanted to tell you..I love your heart!

    1. Thanks for your sweetness. It is Christ in me. If not for Him I would be out shopping and eating bon bons!!

      1. You made me laugh, Becky!!

      2. Oh Becky, this is great. When my kids were growing up and asked what I did while they were in school I always replied that I sat around in my fur coat eating bon bons and watching soaps. 🙂

  42. I am feeling behind the eight ball.
    I am planning wedding for Mike, Bills brother who we had guardianship of, and his bride Haruka from Japan, they met while he was stationed in Okinawa, our Life group from church had graciously agreed to help me, but the wedding is a mere 17 days away, there is so much to do.
    I also joined a class at church I am really excited about, the curriculum is from CCEF, the end goal is that we be trained as lay counselors by early summer. They are doubling up the lessons, doing 2 per week, and I began a week late :/
    These are good things, but on top of my busy schedule at work, it is all a bit much. Our Zach is home until November 5th when he leaves for his new assignment in Belgium, and Mike & Haruka will arrive 1 week before the wedding.
    To top it off, we have numerous home improvement project in process that have the house looking better but in disarray.
    I am thinking that my participation will need to be sparse here until I get caught up on the course work I am behind in.
    Praying for Dee today, and for all of us who long to see our children walking in vital relationships with Christ, I feel convicted that I need to focus on the power of Christ instead of my failures as a mother.
    I love you sisters!

    1. Oh Chris I feel for you at this time, but please don’t let it stress you out. Let God guide your days and all will fall into place as He feels it should. Will miss you on here but understand. Prayers will be said for a calm spirit. Love ya girl!

    2. Chris, praying for you to get through all of this, that you need to do!

      Love this… ” praying for all of us who long to see our children walking in vital relationships with Christ.

  43. B. Challenge question (and important) Do you see the word “gospel” or “good news” in verse 2? Describe a stressful situation you are facing and now explain how the gospel could help you face it and relax in your Father’s arms.
    I will enter into His rest because I have heard the Good News and am united with Him by faith.
    I noticed the ending of verse 3 says “…although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.” While He finished His works already (outside of time) it is being played out in our lives right now and we choose whether to participate and do what works He calls us to do or to be disobedient and leave it for someone else to do. Either way it will get done, but we may blow our chance of being a participant.

  44. I’m praying for you today, Dee.

  45. A. What did it mean that God rested, if not resting His body? (This is important — read above again if you are unsure.) – He was satisfied with what he had accomplished and had set out to do in the world. He gave us His best whether or not we think it is doesn’t matter. He did it the way He felt was right for us.

    B. Meditate on Hebrews 4:9-10 for there is great assurance here. It also shows the deeper rest, by comparing our rest to the rest God felt. (He was satisfied.) This is important. – So from reading this I’m getting that when we enter into Gods rest, which since they mention a Sabbath Day that its meaning to take the time out of our busy lives and go to church, to fellowship with other children of God. To enjoy His creation that he was able to accomplish in just six days and all of this was created for us which is much more meaningful than what we think we need to accomplish. We need to make God who loves us unconditionally priority in our lives every day but more so on the day he said was set aside for us to rest. He loves us so much and knew that the bodies he created would not be able to function without rest. Why then do we think we need to constantly be on the go and doing something instead of resting in the beauty He created around us.

  46. 7. Read Hebrews 4:11-16

    Rachael, on the Idol Lies video (now available on my website!) said “This is such a daily battle.” And it is. We are so prone to wander, to back away from God, and to not enter this deeper rest. There are some secrets to help us persevere in this passage.

    A. How can you see it is a daily battle according to verse 11? – It is telling us to make every effort to not fall out of His rest, and listen to our own minds and excuses why we don’t need it. It was known from the beginning that we would struggle with this.

    B. What is one tool that will help us enormously according to verse 12 — and why? – The Word of God. Because it is sharper than a two-edged sword and can cut away all our iniquities so far down to our bone marrow. I looked up bone marrow and it is a key component in supporting our body’s immune system. We need a healthy immune system to fight disease which I think goes along to fight the enemy and all his attempts. God needs that pathway to be open and clear I think for us to be wise and aware of when our body needs rest and recharging.

    C. Hidden in verse 13 is the first part of the Gospel — expressing our great need. Find it. – I think it’s letting us know that God sees, hears and knows all and we cannot hide from Him. So why do we try to come up with excuses?he knows our hearts already and if we truly love Him we will do what pleases Him.

    D. Hidden in verse 14 is the second part of the Gospel — expressing God’s provision. Find it. – It’s Jesus the Son of God. He has already gone before us and made a way. Why would we want to take a path that has not been cleared. We would then have to do all the work in clearing it ourselves without knowing if its leading us in the right direction.

    E. What other great tool is found in verse 16? – Gods throne of grace where we can receive mercy and find grace when needed.

  47. Just checking FB and here to see if we have heard word on how it is going for Dee. Praying still!!

    1. Just thought to do the same thing Angela. Does anyone know what time the surgery was?

      1. She had said she was going in at noon (ET). I asked if JR could let us know when it’s done and how she is!

        1. Ok thanks Elizabeth. If she was on time then hopefully they are finishing up now.

  48. I am way behind but have been praying for each of you as I have read–especially praying for you dear sweet Joyce, and for you Chris and all that is on your plate (I’m with you behind that 8 ball 🙂
    love you all, so thankful to be a part of this very very special group