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Friday, March 23, 2012

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

Joshua 3:1 - 6:27

I told you yesterday that things were going to get exciting today.  Did you get what Joshua 5:12 said?  No manna appeared on the day they first ate from the crops of the land, and it was never seen again. 

This was a sign that they were home.  No more wandering through the wilderness.  No more going out each morning to gather their flake-like food off the ground.  They were now eating fruit from the land God promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob hundreds of years earlier. 

I can just imagine that the way they felt that day will be the same way we at CCA will feel our very first Sunday in a permanent home. No more cafeteria tables to put away.  No more projectors to hang.  No more chairs to put out. 

Yes, I am sure the children of Israel are feeling mighty fine right about now.  But although they may be home, their work is not done!  And neither will CCA's be.  But that's another blog for another time. 

Now on to the big news story of the day... Can you imagine being a fly on the wall in Jericho as the children of Israel were marching around the city? 

Rahab told the spies they were already terrified of them and their God and now every morning they are waking up to see the Israelites going around their city walls... again.  Their fear was building and rightly so because on the seventh day the walls came down and Israel completely destroyed the city.

I love what Dr. Bryant Wood says about the walls of Jericho...

Jericho is a wonderful spiritual lesson for God’s people yet today. There are times when we find ourselves facing enormous “walls” that are impossible to break down by human strength. If we put our faith in God and follow His commandments, He will perform “great and mighty things” (Jeremiah 33:3) and give us the victory. 

Amen.  I couldn't have said it better myself. :)

Yesterday I shared with you some pics from Mount Nebo, today I would like to share a few from our time in Jericho.

Looking over the city of Jericho.  The Israelites had to be stoked to go from desert to this!

Part of the city wall unearthed by archaeologists

Self-portrait by unearthed wall... too funny, I know :)

Happy Friday Y'all!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hello, Goodbye

Deuteronomy 33:1 - 34:11
Joshua 1:1 - 2:24

Today we said farewell to Moses.  We have been journeying with him for the past 49 days!  So it is a little sad to see him go.  But some exciting things are already beginning to happen for the children of Israel.  And I can't wait for us to read everything God is about to do for them.

It has been forty years of wandering, and I am sure wondering, wondering if God was really going to do what He said He was going to do.  And I got chills today as I read Joshua telling his leaders, Get ready!  In three days we are crossing the river Jordan and taking possession of the land God has given us! Joshua 1:10

Sometimes I wish I could have been a fly on the wall to see these things happen.  But obviously we can't do that so we'll just have to use our imaginations. :)

So today my emotions swung from sad to see Moses go, to stoked to see Joshua go!

In January 2011 I had the amazing privilege to stand on Mount Nebo where Moses stood and looked over the Jordan Valley to the promised land and I want to share a few pics with you so you too can see what Moses saw and what Joshua is getting ready to conquer.

Looking to the right Moses saw the Gilead Mountains

Looking to the left he saw the Dead Sea (just over the tree tops)

And straight ahead he saw the Jordan Valley & River and in the distance Jericho, Bethlehem and Jerusalem   
Thanks for journeying with me... 

and Moses. 

Happy Thursday,

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

All week we have been reading Moses' charge to the children of Israel to obey the commands of the Lord, to follow His instructions and to love Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.

Every one of these acts requires them to make a conscience decision; they could do what's right and be blessed or do what's wrong and be cursed.

As we continue to read these next few weeks we will find out a little bit of both happens.

And although we are reading about decisions made thousands of years ago, consequences for good or bad choices still exists today.

One wrong decision made by anyone can not only effect them but a host of other people as well.

Lives can be hurt, changed and even lost because of one seemingly small decision like...

Getting behind a wheel after drinking one to many drinks.  

Or flirting with someone who's not your spouse.  

Or working late, again, instead of spending time with your kids. 

So, how can you know if your decision is a good one or not?  Lay this question along side your dilemma...  Is this decision one that is overriding my senses and is it an option that at some level I know I should not do? If so, then you probably should not do it. 

Today my prayer for all of us is that we would stop, think and pray before we make even the smallest move in our life because our decisions will always stretch far beyond our reach.  And once made and acted upon, that action can never be changed no matter how hard we pray. 

That my friend... is scary.

Praying we all make good decisions in life,

Monday, March 12, 2012

In My Wanderings

Today in our chronological reading we read that Moses has come to the end of his life and he has began recounting the past 40 years to the children of Israel and I loved what he said in Deuteronomy...

For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He knows your going through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing. 

Deuteronomy 2:7 (ESV)

This verse encourages me and I pray it encourages you too because we are never promised the good life but we are promised that God will go with us throughout our life.

Not just when we do good...

Not just when we love others...

Not just when we have the kind of faith that will move mountains...


He is still with us in our wandering...

When we do wrong...

And when we are unlovable.

The verse says that God knows you are going through a great wilderness, He is with you and you will lack for nothing.

So "Don't be afraid!  Don't be discouraged!" Deuteronomy 1:21

The Lord is with you, always.

Have a blessed Monday,

Saturday, March 3, 2012

To Believe, or Not To Believe

Numbers 14:1-15:41

Are you like me right now just wanting to shake these children of Israel and say…

Hey, don’t you remember how God sustained you in Egypt for 400 years?

Don’t you remember how He brought you out with His mighty hand?  And when you left, in your hands was the wealth of Egypt?

Don’t you remember how God split the sea and you walked on dry ground to safety while your enemy was swallowed up in that same sea?

Every single day you look up and see God directing your steps in the form of a cloud and every night a pillar of fire.

Every morning when you arise God is sustaining you will manna.

The very clothes on your bodies are not wearing out.

God has kept you, is keeping you, and will continue to keep you!!

But we are reading that they have come to the boarder of their Promised Land and they are not looking to God to deliver this land into their hands, they are looking at themselves to do it. (Numbers 13:31)

As I pondered this this morning, after all their eyes have seen God do, I wondered how in the world could they not have the faith to believe God would to this too.  Especially since he has been promising this land to them for hundreds of years.

I know in my own life, I have no problem believing God can provide a Red Sea Miracle, I have the problem of believing I am worthy of it.  

God is so good that maybe, just maybe, the children of Israel did not doubt if God could, maybe they doubted if He would do it for them.

Truth is, none of us are worthy of God’s grace, mercy, blessing, and favor.

The Children of Israel were not worthy either.

But God does not provide us miracles based on our goodness, but based on HIS.

So if you are wondering today if God can make a way for you, the answer is, Yes, He can.

If you are wondering today if God will make a way, remember, He wants this blessing for you more than you want it for yourself.

Unbelief is what caused the Children of Israel to not enter in their Promised Land and will cause us to not enter in too.

Therefore, I’m believing God!!

Let's believe together.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Heading Out

The children of Israel are packed up and ready to move on to their next location. And let me just say, I love the precision of the instructions God gave Moses as to how they were to pack and move throughout the land.

There was a method and an organized way to which they moved and that makes me grin because sometimes I think I can over organize and over plan. I am not one to move blindly through events. I think they call people like me control freaks. You see, I like things to go a certain way because I know you get certain results.

Each day as we are reading ALL the instructions God is giving Moses it can seem our reading is insignificant, but there really is a reason and purpose for the way God is instructing them to pack and move.

When you read Numbers 10:13-28 you understand better why God said to do it the way He has said to do it. 

Did you notice which tribe was to lead the way? Judah.

There is so much meaning here that I wish I had time to really 'unpack' it. But here are just a couple points of interest.

FirstJudah means praise so their praise led the way. Your praise to God should always be first before your actions for God.

Second, Judah (Praise) was the largest tribe. Our praise should be greater than our fear, our doubts, or anything else that would separate us from God.

Third, Jesus came from the tribe of Judah so anything we ever experience in life, Jesus experienced it first. He went before us (as the tribe of Judah did for the children of Israel) and prepared the way.

Another purpose for God’s plan of action can be seen in verse 21, …Before they (the Kohathite division) arrived at the next camp, the Tabernacle would already be set up at its new location.

Therefore, when the Kohathites (who carried the sacred objects for the temple) arrived no time was wasted; they were ready to finish setting up the temple.

Wasting time really gets my blood boiling. I think I love God even more now that I know He too does not like to waste time.

Lastly, Dan’s troops were the last to march serving as the rear guard for all the troops of Israel.  The rear guard protected them from the things they couldn't see coming their way.

Man was not designed by the Creator with eyes in back of his head, so God has covenanted with His people to protect and guard them from behind (Isaiah 52:12).

We ought to walk with confidence when we consider that the God of Omnipotence not only goes before us, but He guards us from behind! 

Therefore we can boldly say, Even if I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, because you are with me! Psalm 23:4

I love order. I love God. I love that God loves order.

So today if you are struggling with why God is asking you to do something a particular way, trust Him that He has a plan, purpose and reason for it. He’s not trying to control you, He’s trying to protect you and make your travels on the road to your Promised Land the most productive for the Kingdom they can be.