Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Moving

I've decided to go ahead and move my blog to a new site even though I did finally get logged back in and manage to update the look. :) Come join me at my "new blog" at www.theopenbench.blogspot.com  



You can also just click on "new blog" at the top of my page here.
You'll always be able to find your way back to some of these old posts from over there as well. Please update your bookmarks or subscribe to the new one so you don't miss out as I begin posting again.
~Deni



Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Low Joy Airlines


This video is the BEST look at why we end up addicted to things!!! Watch my Dad explain how the brain works with addictions/cross addictions in a fun and creative way.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Crutches


"How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God follow Him, if Baal is God, follow him". ~Elijah 1 Kings 18:21
Sometimes when I'm at a loss for what to say to God during my quiet times, I just pick up His word and start reading. I quietly ask him to bring to my attention whatever he wants to talk to me about and I just keep reading. Today, this verse in 1 Kings seemed to scream at me. I was especially interested in the words "waver", "opinions" and "follow".

According to the Strong's Concordance, the word used here for "waver" in Hebrew means much more than just waver. Pasah means "to be limp, to become crippled; to worship in a limping dance".

Just reading that more descriptive definition led me to picture this verse in a whole new light. I see His people (including myself) not just being wishy-washy, but being crippled and unable to worship fully.

When I looked up the word for "opinions" in Hebrew- my picture became even clearer. Seippin is not just a picture of divided opinions but also considered a figurative extension of hobbling on crutches.

I began to picture us using God as one crutch, and the world on the other side. This posture has us "leaning" on 2 things. We feel justified because we are technically "leaning on Him", but the truth of the picture is that we are leaning on 2 crutches. When that happens we aren't RELYING on God at all...
The more I "saw" this picture, the more I realized how crippling this posture is. If you're like me, and you've needed crutches before, you probably know that when you fully lean on both crutches.. it begins to hurt! You become "limp" and you actually end up feeling weaker than before all over your body. I picture myself on these 2 crutches, leaning on 2 things to support me, looking down, feeling the pain, feeling myself get weaker... and this is not the picture of relying on God at all!
In this posture of "wavering between 2 opinions" it's difficult to lift my eyes up to the heavens, it's hard to worship, it's impossible to lift my hands in surrender and praise, and my worship becomes a "limping dance" instead of a joyful one.

However, if you get rid of the "crutches"... you stop "wavering between 2 opinions" and FOLLOW GOD.. there are no more crutches in the picture. The word here for "follow" not only means to follow but also to pursue. Pursuing Him strengthens me... pursuing Him is what it looks like to rely on Him fully. I picture my pursuit of God like a healthy image of a runner in training... strong, focused, and determined. Head able to be held high, eyes on the ONE that I pursue..... and I am spurred on by passion and desire for the ONE that encourages me from up ahead.



I love it when His Word comes alive and gives me direction. :)


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

He will never leave me

(copied from my facebook notes page... originally written on 7/21/11)

As many of you know, I have been grieving the death of my 12 year old dog and my grandfather for the past 2 weeks. Less than a year ago, I also grieved the loss of my other grandfather. This past year has had many stressors.... both negative and positive, and I have been truly crushed under the weight of it all these past 2 weeks. I might not show it all the time, but my family surely has seen the toll it has taken on me.


This morning I was soaking to a worship set at IHOP from a few days ago. Matt Gilman was singing the song "Draw me close" and I was pleading with Jesus to "Help me know you are near".


While I always "know" he is near.... I just wasn't feeling Him... I was feeling alone, discouraged, exhausted in grief. I was feeling worn down, "limp", withdrawn, feeble, and lazy. I've BEEN feeling all those things since Lucky got sick.

I've had moments where I "knew" Jesus was with me in my sorrow.... but it wasn't changing the fact that I still FELT all those things.


As I sang... "Help me know YOU are near".... I heard the gentle whisper in my soul of "I will never leave you nor forsake you".

I continued to worship for a little while, and then went to my Bible and looked up that verse. I found it in Deuteronomy 31 vs 6 and vs 8.



"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will ever leave you nor forsake you."

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged"



The Lord seemed to be making me focus on the word "leave" in these verses. So, I looked them up in my concordance. There are many Hebrew and Greek words used for the word "leave" throughout the Bible. But only 3 times does this particular word for leave show up. All 3 times, it is used in the sentence "will never leave you nor forsake you". This word in Hebrew is rapa.



Rapa first and foremost means
  • to hang limp,
  • sink down,
  • be feeble;
  • to be lazy,
  • to lower;
  • discourage"

and then it is used to mean:

  • "leave alone, abandon, withdraw".

When I read this, I was washed over with comfort as the Lord said to me



"I will never hang limp, sink down, be feeble, be lazy, lower you or discourage you; leave, abandon or withdraw from you..... even when you are feeling all of those things!!!"



It was like a huge relief to know that while I am weak... He is strong! His promises not only revive me, but they also give me permission to REST in Him!!! I can "go limp" in His arms and know without a doubt that He will NEVER rapa me! :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

In God's Hands


I recently had the pleasure of going on a cruise. While I was out at sea, I was enthralled by the volume of water all around in every direction as far as the eye could see. I meditated on the verse
" Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens"
Isaiah 40:12

I thought about the fact that he not only measures the waters that look so expansive to me in the palm of his hand, but he also used those very same hands to create the earth and the skies above
"My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens"
Isaiah 48: 13


Those hands must be so impressive... so strong, so powerful! As a matter of fact when I did a word study this morning on the word "hand" or "hands"... I found that hands are a "figure of power, control, care, direction & strength" (Strong's Concordance). I had never thought of power and control as being in the same set of descriptive words as care! I love how God's Word often opens up new meanings for me as I read!!!

As I completed this word study on "hands" I was blown away by all that God's hands do. Those same hands that form the heavens and the skies, and measure the heavens and the skies also
  • sustain me {Ps. 18:35}
  • uphold me (gives support, confidence, braces) {Ps. 63:8, Ps 37:24, Is. 41:10}
  • hold me {Ps. 73:23, Is. 42:6}
  • stretch out against the anger of my foes (protects me) {Ps. 138:7}
  • save me {Ps 138:7}
  • satisfy my desires {Ps. 145: 16}
  • strengthen me {Is. 41:10}
  • form me like clay {Jer. 18:6}
  • fill me with joy and eternal pleasures {Ps. 16:11}
Over and over again in the scriptures it talks of how God holds us by the hand. His hands, the powerful, creation making hands, take the CARE to help me...

"Your right hand sustains me, you stoop down to make me great"
Psalm 18:35
All I can say now is
"As for me, I am in Your hands; do with me whatever you think is good and right"
Jeremiah 26:14
Thank-you Lord for Your love so great that you would stoop down to hold my tiny hand in yours and comfort me on the path of life.