Monday, August 31, 2009

NOT Forgotten

Have you ever felt forgotten? Well, God has not forgotten you. Regardless, of the situation you find yourself in, you are remembered. As you go about your everyday life, it is important to remind yourself that you are not forgotten. Regardless, of your view of yourself.
In Psalm 139, the Lord reminds you that before you were formed that He knew you.
If you have ever nursed a child, you know how impossible it is to forget a child. Your bosom has to be emptied! You will stop whatever you are doing to relieve the pressure.
In Isaiah the Lord reminds you that He has that same care for you.
Maybe at times it feels as though you go unnoticed or that you are working endlessly.
Take heart. Your effort is noted and appreciated.
You are not forgotten.
Slowly read and chew on the scriptures below and insert your name.
Really consider that God, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end is telling YOU and Me that He will not forget us.
WOW! Thank you God :)

~Debbie




Isaiah 49:15
Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.




Psalm 139:15
My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Psalm 139:16
Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139:17
How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
Psalm 139:18
If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Guest author "Kristin Espinasse" of A Day in a French Life...

Kristin writes from her heart about life as she views it from an American perspective while living in France. Kristin is married to Jean -Marc and has two children. They live on a vineyard and produce wine that can be purchased here in America. Kristin lived in Arizona before she met her beloved and decided to live in France. She has written a book that you can find for sale on her blog. Kristin also takes beautiful pictures of the places she visits and her lovely local scenery. If you enjoy beautiful photography check out Kristin's art at Cinema Verite.
Thank you Kristi for allowing me to share your writing.

Recently her newsletter via her blog http://french-word-a-day.typepad.com/
recounted a story of an encounter while on vacation. I thought it was well written and touched on things that we all notice as we settle in with our faith whether publicly or privately. A light on a hilltop is to shine and we are to go and tell. In Kristin's case it was in Croatia while vacationing.

Enjoy! Story below is from the link above...copyrighted to Kristin Espinasse.


A Day in a French Life...by Kristin Espinasse

We arrived in Croatia at 10:30 at night after a 14-hour drive from Ovada. This late in the evening, I could not yet make out the charming maisonnette* that was to be our rental for the next seven days.
The location* was part of a farmhouse, long since divided up like a Kit Kat wafer. If you stood facing the long building, you could easily pick out our unit, with its cheery lavender-colored facade, its little iron fence, geraniums tumbling down the sides. Above the patio a sprawling grapevine provided shade and a visual feast: clusters of sweet fruit. The bright little abode was bookended by the continuation of a grayish colored building in need of repair and refacing.
I looked up at the grapes each night as I sat reading in a cozy, cushioned chair. Though I had brought a stack of books (ranging from "The Life of a Simple Man" to "Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress"), in the evening I took advantage of the serene setting for some scriptural study.
Around the second or third night, my feet propped up on a chair, I settled into my cozy routine. That's when I heard the crunching of gravel. My ears tuned in to the driveway, just outside our enclosed patio, as I listened to the sound of Croatian steps approaching.
I soon sensed the presence of a stranger on the other side of the fence, just inches from where I sat. "Hello," I said."What are you reading?" the stranger nodded his reply.
Caught off guard, I thought about the object of my study, and how prayer isn't something you shout from the rooftops; just like tithing -- where your left hand shouldn't know what your right hand is doing -- worship should be done in private. No need to blab about holy matters, or how much they matter to you -- when actions speak louder than words.
But with the stranger's eye now poking right through the bars of the front fence, I had no other option but to reveal my spiritual zeal.
"I... am reading the Bible," I replied."Yes, but which book?"For a moment, I was confused, for I had told the stranger what book I was reading: the Holy Bible.
I looked up at the man, who waited for my answer. He was tall and thin, with shoulder-length locks. He looked to be about my age, forty-something.
Book... In fact, the stranger had already identified the livre* that I was reading (the gilded pages were a giveaway) and wanted to know which chapter I was reading -- only he had correctly called the sections "books".
Distracted, I had to look down to the delicate pages to answer his question."Romans," I informed him.The man nodded and there followed a moment of silence, one I was anxious to fill. Only, what to say?
"Do you read the Bible?" I inquired, feeling like a Sunday school teacher's pet. I hoped I didn't sound that way -- but I could think of nothing else to say."Sometimes. When I am not working," replied the stranger.
I remembered the other Croatians that I had recently met, all of whom were so busy working to make ends meet that vacation--even home-bound R&R and meditation--were an unaffordable luxury.
"Do you live around here?" I asked."No, I live in the city." I thought about all the HLM's* we had passed by, dingy gray fa├žades that were peeling like sunburned giants. The dilapidated units were piled, one over the other, sky high. There were hundreds of humble abodes within one dismal block of concrete. The blocks crowded the graffitied commercial centers, where we went to buy our bread and butter. What a contrast these "homes" were to the charming vacation rentals on the coast....
"My grandmother lived there," the stranger continued, pointing to a house up the dirt lane. "She passed away three years ago. She was ninety-one."
Listening to the grown man talk about his grandmother, I was lost for words, but managed a random reply:"She had a nice life," I offered, once again petting another's pride.
"Not a nice life," the man corrected, "a long life".
Having said a simple goodbye, the mysterious man walked on, leaving me with the power of words--exact words, not fluffed up, flattering ones. I made a commitment, then and there, to make an effort to practice precise speech, to slow down in time to search for les mots justes,* for exact words--and to have the confidence to deliver them. Even the overworked stranger had made the time, and had had the self-respect, to do as much.
I closed my "books," as the stranger had justly called them, and relished the unexpected lesson, on truth, that I had learned from the other side of the fence.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Knowing Your Purpose

Knowing your purpose helps keep you focused when life spins. My study this morning led me to

John 13:3,4
Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.


The thing that jumped off the page to me was that He knew. There is a time in your relationship, in all relationships that you have to " KNOW."

You have to know that though people fail, GOD does not.
And even when your natural inclination is to panic...you know there is no need.
There is no need because He is Jehovah Jirah, your provider.
There is no need because you know that the Father has given all things into his hands and that he came from God and he went to God.

And just as Jesus was able to focus on His mission because he knew his purpose and what he was on this earth to do, you too can focus on your mission. God has promised to work all things for our good to those who are called according to his purpose. Now is not the time to panic..know your purpose.
Jesus was able to do the things he did because he knew who he was.
Do you know who you are? If you belong to the Lord, then He lives in you and through you.
And who you are...is a new creature in Christ, you are HIS.

I am not suggesting that you act as an ostrich with your head in the sand. You are in the world and life happens. But there is a peace in knowing that he who loved you, loved you to the end.
Focus on your purpose. Do not be distracted.
Jehovah-Jireh, your provider will sustain you through each step of your journey. He will never leave you or forsake you.

Know your purpose. Commit to your purpose. Carry out your purpose.

~Debbie


John 13:1
Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

This is Painful.

Are you broken? I am considering this question from several angles. It is necessary to allow God to break you in some areas....to remold any given area to reflect His glory. This is painful.

At times I have willing submitted to a known area of needed breaking down and fixing.
And at other times, I have been broken and fixed......screaming and kicking, all the way to the potter's wheel! It hurt each time, willing or unwilling. Each choice brought a different form of pain.

Yet each time there is a beauty that appears in my character that I have to acknowledge would have never of happened unless the breaking occurred.
Oh! Sometimes.... I can see the crack of "less than" concerning His will in my life.
At times it is glaringly obvious to others and myself.
At times it is a struggle for me to understand or see the less than divine nature I exhibit.
God wants to conform you and I into the image of Jesus Christ. This is painful.

Our natural man appears deformed spiritually and Father God desires CONFORMED.
You see, we have been made a new creature in Christ Jesus when we accept His shed blood for the forgiveness of our sins.

God only discards our sins....not us.


So we are remade, day by day, into a vessel of use, fit for His plan in our lives.
Again, this is painful.

So back to the original question. Are you broken? Well, be encouraged that there is a wonderous repair happening in you.



~Debbie


Romans 8:29
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Romans 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Galatians 6:15
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fruit

Sitting on the back porch this morning I noticed the okra plants with their pretty yellow flowers and okra pods, standing tall and reaching upward. Even in nature, most things reach up to the light. My garden is right off the screened back porch. I can see tomato plants, apple and cherry trees, okra, and hydrangeas from this vantage point.

Each started as a seed, it grew, it flowered, and then it made fruit to be eaten.
I noticed that most things bud with a flower but not all have fruit that can be eaten.
My fruit trees had flowers then the flower fell away and I had a tiny fruit in its place.
My vegetables had flowers and repeated the cycle. Flower first, then something to eat.
I think we are like that as Christians. First we flower under the Son and as we mature, others may pick, the sometimes small fruit from our lives. But it is fruit, however small.

In God's garden on this earth, let us strive in Christ Jesus to flower and bring forth fruit.
Because God expects us to have fruit.

~Debbie

Galatians 5:22,23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Luke 13:7Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Be Not Weary-Life Happens

Are you weary? I am. As I write this this morning I consider the things that lie before me.
Some days it is nothing but sheer effort that moves us forward. It may be from a general lack of rest,difficult people and difficult situations, to there just doesn't seem to be an end in sight.
Ever have one of those kind of days? or weeks? or months? I have.
Well the scripture below has been a softly humming song in my mind all morning. I want to suggest that you take a few moments to consider the need to realign your mind with God's good word to you and me.
He promises a harvest if we persevere until the end. Do not think it unusual, that with the best laid plans that life still happens.
The issue is not life but how we skillfully apply God's word to our lives. Remember it is not that you will not have cause to be weary, you will. Just remember that there is a harvest time coming, do not give up!!!! Rest as you need to, think on His word, and do not consider it unusual the trials and testings that happen to us all. Be in it to win it.

~Debbie



Galatians 6:9
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Letting Go of Cockatoo Dreams

Everyone seems to be on a journey to find themselves.
And yet.......here we are.
So busy pleasing others.
Reaching out for ......the elusive self.

Pushing down our needs.
Giving out seeds.
Seeds sown.....to others who have grown.
Past our self-sacrifice to parts unknown.
And yet.....here we are.

Waiting on the harvest.
Heart in hand, thoughts afar to times past
When we toiled.....to see a harvest at last.
Everyone seems to be on a journey to find themselves.
And yet....here we are.

~Debbie Turner Chavers

I have written some of my thoughts as poetry at different times in my life. This poem and others are in my journal titled "Letting Go of Cockatoo Dreams".

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Encourage

Everyday we have the opportunity to encourage one another. There are so many issues that each of us face that we would do well to remember we are not alone. You may feel alone, yet you are not. It is easy to become absorbed in our own problems. Yet we can make an eternal difference by remembering to stir one another up in remembrance of God's goodness to each of us. Do not forget to encourage yourself. Speak good things to yourself and about yourself and others.
I was reading Deuteronomy and saw how important encouragement was to the promotion of good things and God's plan for man.
Moses was told to encourage Joshua, because he would cause Israel to inherit the plan of God.
Do not belittle your ability to truly make a difference by your kindness to someone and the gift of encouragement that could make all the difference in the world.
Joshua was an anointed leader that God used to bring about His plan for Israel. Yet, obviously he needed encouragement. You need encouragement. I need encouragement.
The next time you are stirred to send a note, a smile, or anything that would encourage.
DO IT.
Appearances can be deceiving. You might convince yourself that the other person does not need it, yet it is needed.
Everyone needs encouragement.
Everyone has a God given destiny and our encouragement can make a difference.

~Debbie


Deuteronomy 1:38 But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.