"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD...He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." Micah 4:2

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Who is boasting on You?

My reading in The Daily Light abruptly stopped at these words...
"my feet have closely followed His steps; I have kept to His way without turning aside". 

Wow. Imagine saying this in your SMALL GROUP when asked about your week.
In most "christian" circles today, those words would be met with scorn. Rebuke would follow, some being appalled at the pride and boasting, and perhaps even Bible verses would be thrown to refute the reality of anyone standing firm with such a testimony!
Discussion and questions dispute our ability to follow closely in His steps, lecturing often on how our weakness causes our feet to turn aside from His Way!
Afterall, they say, "we're only human"!

These constant opinions often puzzle me for they are argued by those who have been promised the Presence of the Comforting Guide, constant and continual, and One who is "able to keep them from stumbling".
To many, "Stand firm in their faith" becomes wishful thinking, and it is obvious there is not the applied belief in their God who IS "able to keep them from stumbling" (Jude 24).
Yet we read this shocking testimony from an Old Testament character, from an account which happened long before the Law was given, ages before the Cross claimed victory, or even the Covenant of promise. He stood without the Guide and Power who is given to believers today. In his testimony, Job saw through eyes of faith God's declaration, cry of Victory, and he stood firm in his faith, knowing for sure he saw reality.

Just as many times we find ourselves in a circle of more worldly wisdom, Job was surrounded by more human experience and educated knowledge. He faced the same accusations thrown around today when someone stands firm in faith.

I found it imperative for me to read the full account of Job in one sitting, recording repetition of advice, and folly. As I read his story, I also found an:
in spite of a circle of friends who scolded, rebuked, reproved, and basically corrected Job.

They fired every shot of humanism with arrows of pragmatism, relevance, comfort, experience, happiness, moderation, obligation and even personal responsibility.

This ancient man stood firm in his Faith. In his saddest moments when companionship would have been refreshing, he was verbally rejected by "friends". When comfort could have been extended, he was corrected and rebuked by elites and youth alike. Yet, Job held firm to faith.
God boasted of him!

The Scriptures tell us that "powers and authorities in heavenly places" present themselves before the LORD where God boasts to his enemy about his servant!!

That is so awesome. I wonder how often this scene plays out in heaven today! Here is now the scene I believe described in the New Testament:

Ephesians 3:10 " that through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
This was according to the eternal purpose that He has realized in Christ Jesus our LORD."
From Job, I learn the dangers of opinions, and determine to build my faith in Christ alone through the Word of God given to me. I've learned to say "Give me Bible." because:

Misleading Lesson Prep for Small Group 
Comforters distort God and falsely declare...

1. God is hard task master, unable to please, full of wrath, ready to punish.

2. God is only known through life's experiences and physical explanations, therefore, rely on perceptions.

3. God will exact less than what we deserve because he knows we're human, so just try to do your best, realizing perfection is unreasonable.

Each "friend" of Job's ends his piece of advice seasoned with "hear, and know it is for your own good"... 5:27, 8:21, 11:15-19

Although each argument sounded plausible, Job refused to turn aside and doubt God.
Testimony printed to carry everywhere with me

Very weary of their comforting advice,
Job stood firm and testified...
He had a Redeemer.
He had a witness before God, testifying for him.
He knew he would see God for himself.
He knew he was upright and that his hands were clean, making his strength stronger.
He knew his God watched the way he chose... and
He knew when his God's purpose was fulfilled, he would be shining as gold.
Job stated firmly the substance his FAITH held, in unseen evidence.

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, 
the evidence of things not seen."  Hebrews 11:1

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Discipline: The Glad Surrender

I find reading for personal development opens the door for the Holy Spirit to bring Scriptural truth into my spiritual walk with my Lord, Jesus Christ.
Such is this small book I chose from Elizabeth Elliot, one of my faith heroines. Not many in our modern culture appreciate this topic, but for me, it has cemented some conclusions already drawn from my own personal biblical studies.

Although, Elizabeth has trekked many miles through authentic jungles, it was her consistent pilgrimage with her Savior that drew me to DISCIPLINE: The Glad Surrender. Her character and lifestyle lured me to learn more from her writings. Enduring stories of physical pain, trials, and suffering, yet leaning toward surrender in gladness made me know certainly that she spent many journey hours on her knees, asking for wisdom and the measure of her Savior's grace. Lessons in God's grace taught her patience and endurance. Gladness is her triumphal cry of victory. A gladness found surrenderng to discipline. This is the victory I also want to be my legacy.

I thank my Lord for servant examples who have left footsteps for me to follow on this journey. With a humble heart looking for encouragement and affirmation, I believe the Lord led me to open this book of wisdom. I've been discouraged by "hireling" discussions for too long. I needed the wisdom of true disciples to help me discern Truth from the common "sharing" found in most assemblies' circles today. I believe instruction of righteousness needs to infiltrate once again "the household of God, the church, the pillar & buttress of Truth" 1 Tm 3:15, to enable the "call to arms" to be sounded.

Elizabeth Elliot challenges her readers to look beyond this culture of "I believe-ism" to the reality of discipline in genuine Christianity.
To be a Christian in New Testament terms is to be a disciple.  More than 'just getting wet', one must die and be raised to "walk in newness of life". It is the one who has been "placed under orders", or disciplined. We have a Savior who not only died to save us from the penalty of our sins, but also he saved us from our sins. We cannot hang on to "unrighteousness and worldly passions" (Titus 2:11-12) and think we are following Him. We cannot barter and change the definitions of righteousness, His forgiveness, discipleship, and discipline; while holding onto personal wants, comforts, preferences, SELF-absorbtion and continue to think we are "approving what pleases God".

Jesus said, "If any one desires to be my disciple, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me." Luke 9:23

"I cannot be saved from my sins unless I am also saved from myself, so Christ must be "commanding officer" of my life." Elizabeth Elliot
I have been placed "under orders".

It is the believer's response to God's call.
It is his career and his response to the Creator.
It is reality.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Little is Much when God is in it...

Sometimes, the very things we think are simple and mundane daily chores are what actually influence others. It is often the little things that give God’s people godly influence. 
In the novel, Miriam by Mesu Andrews, I read of a wonderful biblical heroine who was constantly helping the sick and wounded. She cared for her elderly parents, meeting their physical needs, encouraging moments of victory when defeat was inevitable, and soothing their decaying bodies during tough times. All the household tasks of daily activities fell to Miriam, and she did them naturally, discretely, and with much love and care for her family.

She was a kind neighbor who constantly looked for ways to bless, lift up, encourage, point others to her God, "El Shaddai". As her people, the Hebrews, lived and served the Egyptians, cultural practices caused her to caution them in correction or instruction so they would remain faithful to their God. She spent quality time with younger ones trying to mentor their hearts toward the God. She initiated conversations to help loved ones see the effect of their choices. She did all these little things as naturally as breathing, loving the inner relationship she shared with her precious God. 
Unfortunately, at sometime, she had been convinced that her worth was found in the big things. She held tightly to El Shaddai’s as hers alone. She believed her position gave her prestige over others because He had chosen her. She believed only big splashes of visions and dreams had the power to influence people. Elevated importance was hers because El Shaddai spoke to her alone. She proudly held herself aloof as one who could physically “feel” the Presence of God. 

Anyone could do the "little things" in chores, meals, laundry, shopping, and even visiting neighbors. Because her heart was tuned only to the big things, she needed to learn that “little is much when God is in it”.
Author, Mesu Andrews, did an excellent job in dialogue. Miriam had several with other characters showing her influence and love. Also, the thoughts Miriam secretly verbalized to the readers were questions many face in their daily routines.  
I enjoyed the heart provoking "God-silences" Miriam experienced and her searching for what “used to be” as she struggled to accept the newness freedom offered.

El Shaddai demonstrating his love in tangible ways to her, teaching her little by little to accept His perfect Way caused me to marvel at the mercy and grace we experience from our loving God. He patiently showed her to accept every touch from Him as big and purposeful for His glory and as his daughter, she was worthy.

As she grew in her understanding of Yahweh, Miriam learned to “feel” the Presence of God in the people of God, the servant of God, a brother, a good friend, and even the younger followers. Her heart began to recognize God’s love for her came through the work He did in others.
Throughout the transition from slavery to freedom, Miriam is challenged to consider Yahweh from other people’s perspective. Her God moved her from visions/dreams to listening to His spoken word through the mouth of her brothers, Moses and Aaron. By choosing Moses to lead, with Aaron in second command, Miriam learned vital life lessons of God's greatness, and how He is working in the lives of others to grow faith. She learned to accept their intimacy with Almighty God and to follow behind when they were given commands to move forward.  
And finally, Miriam learned the vital role God asked. She was to work together with other servants of the living God in order to bring His people to the Promise Land.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sharing Her God

I'm so excited to be a part of this scavenger hunt blog hop in celebration of the launch of Mesu Andrews' second book in her Treasures of the Nile series, Miriam!
Miriam Scavenger Hunt Blog Hop
I realize most of you are probably already "on the hunt", but if you just happened on this page first, you'll want to hop on over to the start of the hunt at Mesu’s blog and then you'll finish your journey at At the bottom of this post, you can find the full list of stops for the entire hunt. Between March 15th and 20th, click on the next link, head over to the page, meet a new book-lover, and read their thoughts about Miriam. Somewhere in each post there will be a single word that is in BOLD AND ALL CAPITALS. Write it down. (The words “Home” and “Good Luck” are not secret words for anyone.)
Then, go to the next stop. That post will also have a word that’s bolded and capitalized. You will need to visit all 14 blogs as each one will have a word that you need. Once you reach the end and have found all the words, you will have found an inspirational quote from the book Miriam. There are 14 words in this quote. Enter the quote into the Rafflecopter on the last stop and you will be entered to win a Kindle Fire from Mesu Andrews! (Open to U.S. residents only)

If you have any questions, get lost, or experience any technical difficulties, you may email Tina at tina{at}mommynificent{dot}com for help.

Now, let's talk about this fantastic book!
Miriam by Mesu Andrews

About the Book

Title: Miriam
Author: Mesu Andrews
Series: Treasures of the Nile, Book 2
Publication Date: March 15, 2016
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Print Length: 384 pages
Summary from the publisher: At eighty-six, Miriam had devoted her entire life to loving El Shaddai and serving His people as both midwife and messenger. Yet when her brother Moses returns to Egypt from exile, he brings a disruptive message. God has a new name – Yahweh – and has declared a radical deliverance for the Israelites.
Miriam and her beloved family face an impossible choice: cling to familiar bondage or embrace uncharted freedom at an unimaginable cost. Even if the Hebrews survive the plagues set to turn the Nile to blood and unleash a maelstrom of frogs and locusts, can they weather the resulting fury of the Pharaoh?

Enter an exotic land where a cruel Pharaoh reigns, pagan priests wield black arts, and the Israelites cry out to a God they only think they know.

My Thoughts about Miriam by Mesu Andrews

One of Mesu Andrew's best!
For pleasant leisure, I often choose biblical fiction. I love to consider biblical facts from another person's perspective, and seeing the research behind this book reveals Mesu Andrew's love for truth. I desire to continue growing spiritually and through this underlying base for her books, I find Mesu on this same pilgrimage.

In Miriam, I felt drawn numerous times into the inner thoughts of a biblical heroine who desired to closely follow her God, yet constantly tried to edit through prayer how she thought His WILL should work on behalf of His people, Israel. 

Throughout the transition from slavery to freedom, Miriam is challenged to consider Yahweh from other people’s relationships with Him and His personal call on their lives. Over her lifetime, she had become comfortable loving El Shaddai, yet now God had introduced himself to her brother, Moses, as Yahweh, a God of action and promise. Instead of an inner secret love relationship with her God that commanded others to respect her, God was now speaking through actions that were terrifying and conflicting with her envisioned love. Besides struggling with God's plan through other servants, she also grappled with the belief that He was asking too much of them. 
As she grew in her understanding of Yahweh, Miriam learned to “share” in a whole new way what living in His Presence really meant. For her own spiritual development, she opened her heart to share her God with others, a new leader and servant of God, a brother, a good friend, and even the younger followers. Her heart began to open to God’s love for her through these which helped her begin to accept His power and miracles as a bigger God than she had imagined. Gratitude filled her heart as she learned to appreciate the work He did in others.

So, she may have gained prestige as the first prophetess in Israel, speaking for God through visions or dreams, but she finally realized Yahweh had chosen a path of submission and obedience which would outwardly reflect her love for Him.

Although a character in ancient Israel's history, Miriam speaks today to those who are on their own spiritual pilgrimage from sin slavery to the freedom in Christ.

About The Author

Author Mesu AndrewsMesu Andrews is the award-winning author of Love Amid the Ashes, Love's Sacred Song, Love in a Broken Vessel, In the Shadow of Jezebel, as well as two books in her Treasures of the Nile series: The Pharoah's Daughter and Miriam. Winner of the 2012 ECPA Christian Book Award for New Author, she has devoted herself to passionate and intense study of Scripture, bringing the biblical world vividly alive for her readers. She lives in Washington.

Mesu's Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Stops on the Scavenger Hunt

  1. Mesu Andrews
  2. A Holland Reads
  3. Mother of Three
  4. Just A Second
  5. Grace and Glory
  6. Angela Arndt - Joy on the Back Roads
  7. God's Peculiar Treasure Rae
  8. What If
  9. Carole Towriss
  10. Kate Hodges, Storyteller
  11. Backing Books
  12. Creative Madness Mama
  13. Climbing to the High Calling
  14. Mommynificent

Win Both Treasure of the Nile Books

WaterBrook Press has given me permission to give away one copy of each of Mesu's Treasures of the Nile novels to one lucky winner so to enter to win your own copies of both The Pharoah's Daughter and Miriam, all you have to do is leave a comment below. (Open to U.S. residents only.)

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Fully convinced that He is ABLE...

"I know whom I have believed and I'm persuaded that HE is able..."
Am I truly persuaded?
Is my God ABLE?
In a culture that constantly ambushes my mustard seed faith - 

Scripture declares...
1. He is able to DO MORE than you ask or imagine. (Eph 3:20)
2. He is able to MAKE all grace ABOUND to you (2 Cor 9:8)
3. He is able to HELP them who are being tempted (Heb 2:18)
4. He is able to SAVE them who draw near to God through Jesus Christ (Heb 7:21)
5. He is able to KEEP you from stumbling & (He is able to) present you faultless (Jude 24)
6. He is able to GUARD what has been entrusted (2 Tim 2:12)
7. He is able to BRING everything under His control & by that same power 
               transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body (Phil 3:21)
As I edited this post, a friend posted this on FB as her
"unofficial life verse"

Jesus asks...
"Do you believe I AM ABLE to do this?"
                        Yes, LORD!
"According to your faith will it be done to you."   (Matt 9:28-29)

I love when the Holy Spirit uses someone to affirm what He just pointed out to me from Scriptures!

Just look at this verse...(Thank you for putting this on FB today, Mandy!)

Wished you were strong in your faith?

"AND his faith grew stronger as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that HE is ABLE to do what HE had promised." Rom 4:20-21

and I sing...
"To God be the glory, great things He has done! 
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son. 
Who yielded His Life an atonement for sin, 
And opened the life gate that all may go in!

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,      
to every believer the promise of God;                   
the vilest offender who truly believes,
that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Great things he has taught us! Great things He has done! And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son. But purer and higher and greater will be our wonder, our transport when Jesus we see! 

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Delight to show MERCY

There are so many verses in the Psalms that speaks of David's delight in the Lord...
We're instructed to delight in the Lord (Ps 37:4, 11, 23; 40:8) and delight in His Way. (Ps 37:23), and delight in his Word (Jer 15:16).

And although, we often think we're doing just that because we love Him, there are too many times when joy or delight seem lacking.
We often feel the weight of life's burdens, conflicts, suffering, seriousness, and even lack of godly knowledge causing weariness to outweigh our delight.
Our focus becomes blurry when we try to "set your mind on things above" because we're too busy, or working hard without relying on His Power. Even allowing our hearts to break over the things that break the heart of God can rob us of His delight if those things take our eyes off our Savior.
We struggle with the cares of others around us.
We rise up in anger at injustice and corruption.
We yell our opinions and demand our way.
We look for ways to comfort and ease pain. We try to fix everything and be in charge.
We want to look good.
We're concerned with actions and choices made by others that affect us and our loves.

So, this month, wanting my spirit to wallow in His delight, I began praying...

"Lord, turn my heart to delight in YOU.  
Please fill me with your delight! 
Let me experience 'fullness of JOY in your Presence!"
(I really believed God would fill my life with so many good things that it could only be a delight to awaken each day! I looked for pleasant times and hung out with the lovely. I constantly checked my 'thankfulness'...but,
Unfortunately, I kept being ambushed by the hard, tough times, and the ugly.
I was a little confused.

What was hindering this wonderful desire in me? Wouldn't God be pleased to do this for me?
Why was finding delight so hard?)

This morning, my devotional time led me to Micah 7:18-19
"Who is a God like YOU, who pardons sins and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? YOU do not stay angry forever but DELIGHT to show MERCY."

And me? 
Am I imitating the likeness of Christ as God has purposed for me...
"to be conformed to the image of his Son..." (Rm 8:29)
I began looking for any occasion to show mercy. I concluded that if I truly wanted to delight in the Lord...I needed to allow His Holy Spirit to conform be like Him.
And he just declared "I delight to show Mercy". (Micah 3:18)
Now, I'm smiling as I reflect on my day and found little pieces of given mercy gave me pleasure. 
Whether it was filling my FB opinions with grace, 
texting with friends, or just greeting strangers and store clerks,  
I realize showing Mercy is quite the delight!

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Miriam Scavenger Hunt Rules

I have the privilege of being a part of the launch team for Mesu Andrews' newest book, Miriam, the second installment in her Treasures of the Nile series. Several of us on the team decided to get together and have a scavenger hunt and giveaway to celebrate the book's release. We want to invite you to be a part of the fun next week!

Miriam Scavenger Hunt Blog Hop

From 1am Eastern (US) time on March 15th, the book's release date, until 11:59pm on March 20th, there will be a scavenger hunt with stops on 14 different blogs!

You'll start at Mesu's blog and finish your journey at At the end of each post, you’ll find links to all of the stops in the hunt. Between March 15th and 20th, click on the next link, head over to the page, meet a new book-lover, and read their thoughts about this fantastic book. Somewhere in each post there will be a single word that is in BOLD AND ALL CAPITALS. Write it down. (The words "Home" and "Good Luck" are not secret words for anyone.)

Then, go to the next stop. That post will also have a word that’s bolded and capitalized. You will need to visit all 14 blogs as each one will have a word that you need.

Once you reach the end and have found all the words, you will have found an inspirational quote from the book Miriam. There are 14 words in this quote. Enter the quote into the Rafflecopter on the last stop and you will be entered to win a Kindle Fire from Mesu Andrews!

In addition, each blogger will be running their own giveaway of a set of paperbacks of Mesu's two Treasures of the Nile books - The Pharaoh's Daughter and Miriam!

If you have any questions, get lost, or experience any technical difficulties, you may email Tina at tina{at}mommynificent{dot}com for help.

Good luck and have lots of fun!