Psalm 91 – Faith Pictures

“He who dwells…” Psalm 91:1

Beginning a new journey. In the following days, I will be sharing my personal photographs with Scripture verses from Psalm 91.

It would be an honor to have you join me.

Blessings,

Denise

Day 2 – Ai, which is beside Bethel.

…comforting words through the House of God – Bethel

Speak a word of encouragement (Bethel) into someone’s heap of ruins (Ai).

Pondering what would I speak as a word of encouragement into someone’s life after the year we come through? So many losses, health issues, financial worries, the list goes on and on.

Ai (a heap of ruins) which is beside Bethel. Bethel means House of God.

What word from the house of God, what Scripture would I offer to encourage and comfort? What encourages and comforts me?

Jeremiah 29:11 “for I know the plans I have for you says the Lord.” Would not be my first verse of choice. How can one think of plans when experiencing great loss. “Be still and know,” Psalm 46:10 does settle my heart when I’m in a spin, but what verse really speaks to me when I’m broken within?

“We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses.” Hebrews 4:15 NKJV

Of all the verse in times of distress and pain, it is very comforting for me to know,

Jesus, Himself, sympathizes with my weakness. He feels my pain, and He is interceding (praying) for me in my loss.

“Christ…who is even at the right hand of God, who makes intercession for us.” Romans 8:34 NKJV

Right now, in heaven, on the right hand, the side of favor, Jesus is praying for us. What a blessed encouragement this is to my heart.

“Ai, which is beside Bethel. Joshua 12:9”

Maybe it’s not always about sharing a Scripture verse, maybe it’s about reaching out to encourage someone we know because Christ, in His prayer for them, has put in on our hearts to encourage who He is praying for. Isn’t that the sweetest! His hands, feet and comforting words through the House of God – Bethel. 💞🙏

Thank You Jesus, in our heap of ruins, You do not leave us nor forsake us on our own. All our Ai places in life are right beside Your Word – Bethel – in the House of God – the Bible.

I pray this Scripture would be an encouragement to someone today as we look to you to guide our way.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

Strap on Praise!

Whatever battle or disappointment you find this day,
Remember the LORD’s Strong Arm is not shorten
Nor is He unable or unwilling to save!

Cloudy and gray,

Road signs point,

 Disaster coming our way.

But Your Love speaks a better Word!

One filled with Hope and not dread!

For You inhabit the praises of Your people;

For You are a Living God Whose Miracles

Continue to raise the dead!

Sing a new song, oh Your people,

Strap praise on thy thigh,

For the battle is the LORDS

When see through His eyes!

“O our God…we have no power against this great multitude (the concerns of our hearts) …nor do we know what to do,

But our eyes are upon You.” 2 Chronicles 20:12 NKJV

“So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa (valley of the trumpet); and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah (praise) and you inhabitants of Jerusalem (peace): Believe the LORD your God, and you shall be established…” 2 Chronicles 20:20 NKJV

“…he (Jehoshaphat) appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of Holiness, as they went out before the army (the power of praise in their hands) and were saying:

“Praise the LORD,

For His mercy endures forever.”

Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against (their enemies) and they were defeated.” 2 Chronicles 20:22 NKJV

Whatever battle or disappointment you find this day,

Remember the LORD’s Strong Arm is not shorten

Nor is He unable or unwilling to save!

“Awake, awake!

Put on Your Strength,

O arm of the LORD! Isaiah 51:9 NKJV

“Strengthen the weak hands,

And make firm the feeble knees,

Say to those who are fearful-hearted

“Be strong, do not fear!” Isaiah 35:3 NKJV

“Thus says the LORD to you:

“Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude

For the battle is not yours,

But God’s!” 2 Chronicles 20:15 NKJV

“Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go.

For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy.

Wise choices will watch over you.

Understanding will keep you safe.”

Proverbs 2:9-11 NLT

Bring on 2021!

Prayers for each of you and your families as we strap on praise and enter into His peace for the coming new year!

Denise xoxox

Poem and photo dbalog©

The Circle Dance

2020-12-30

Gilgal – The Circle Dance

It’s been a while since I picked up my Joshua journal, opening the book, thumbing through the pages finding today’s date – Day 30 – and the words penciled – Gilgal.

Gilgal – the circle dance.

Spinning back around to the Promises of God. Held back, often by ourselves or the people we travel with in life, from the Promises of God. –

What is my Gilgal?  What promises am I circling back around to today? Lord, I don’t believe it is by happenstance I reached for this book today. What are You speaking on this 30th day of this season?

“Command the priest who bear the ark of the Testimony to come up from the Jordan…and it came to pass, when the priest who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD and come from the midst of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet touched the dry land, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and overflowed all its banks as before….and they camped in Gilgal.” Joshua Chapter 4:14-20 NKJV

Gilgal – The place where the priest, (a shadow of you and me) the place where the priest feet stood firm (trusting in God) in the crossing of the Jordan, (into the Promise Land) bearing the Ark of the Covenant, (His Word tucked into our spirit, soul, and mind) to come up out of this year stepping into all the good promises found in His Word and encamp there (staying in the Word, circling back around time and time again to His faithful promises) in the coming new year.

The circle dance of Gilgal.

“The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, Amen.” Galatians 6:18 NKJV

Denise

“Praise the Lord!

Sing to the LORD a new song…

Praise His name with dancing…

For the Lord delights in His people.”

Psalm 149:1-4 NLT

Release the Fragrance!

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV

Strong and Courageous

31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day One – Jericho – A Fragrant Place

Day 31 – Joshua Journals

Strong and Courageous – 31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day Thirty-one – Tirzah – Pleasantness

“…the king of Tirzah, one – all the kings, thirty-one.” Joshua 12:24 NKJV

Tizah – means pleasantness or delightsomeness.  From the primitive root to be pleased with, to delight, to favor, to satisfy a debt.

In the land of Promise or pleasantness, the battle we face daily is to know the debit is paid, it is satisfied by Jesus who humbled Himself to the Cross.

“Then Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.” Joshua 24:26

Joshua who found favor with God, completed his mission in the land of Pleasantness.

Joshua’s name means – Jehovah-saved. The Hebrew spelling of Joshua’s name is Yeshua – Yhowshuwa (yeh-ho-shoo-ah). Yeshua in the Greek language is Jesus. “…and shall call His name Jesus.” Luke 1:31 NKJV

Jesus,” who for the joy set before Him, endured the Cross”, satisfied the debt, because He delights in us.

“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, …every man shall give a ransom for himself to the LORD…everyone among them…shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary…And you shall take the atonementto make atonement for yourselves.” Exodus 30:12-15 NKJV

I can’t think of a more pleasant or delightsomeness way to end of Joshua’s story than to find “under the oak tree” Jesus satisfied the Law’s requirements and paid the sanctuary debt for me.

“Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free…” Matthew 17:26 NKJV

“He delivered me from my strong enemy,

From those who hated me,

For they were too strong for me.

They confronted me in the day of my calamity,

But the LORD was my support.

He brought me out into a broad place;

He delivered me because He delighted in me.”

Psalm 18:17-19 NKJV

I thank you for your sharing your time with me as we traveled thirty-one days to the land of Pleasantness in Joshua’s Journey.

God bless,

Denise

“To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,

To guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:79 NKJV

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Photo by denisebalog©2018

Photo captured Jerusalem

“They will lie down in pleasant places and feed in the lush pastures of the hills. I Myself will tend My sheep and give them a place to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign LORD. Ezekiel 34:14-15 NLT

Day 31 – the Land of Pleasantness

Day 30 – Joshua Journals

Strong and Courageous –
31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day Thirty – Gilgal – Circle

“…the king of the people of Gilgal, one.” Joshua 12:23 NKJV

Gilgal – means circle. Stemming from the Hebrew root word, galgal, which means a wheel, or a cartwheel used in the process of threshing or crushing grain, and a tool used to draw water from a well.

Lord, You are a God of seasons and times. In Your perfect order, the road turns back around to circle the story of where the people began.

As Joshua completed his appointed circle of time, he reminded the people as they came to the end of their journey with him, to “hold fast to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day.” Joshua 23:8 NKJV

Joshua was circling back around to remind them of the faithfulness of God. “And you know in all your heartsnot one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. Joshua 23:14 NKJV

In the place of their ending, the victory for the future would rely on their circling back around to remember the faithfulness and the Promises of God.  

“All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.” Joshua 23:14 NKJV

I don’t know what season you are personally walking through, but as Joshua encouraged the people to remember, may we too be encouraged to circle back around and remember God faithful and He keeps His promises.

“God, your God, chose you out of all the people on Earth for Himself as a cherished, personal treasure…He did it out of sheer love, keeping the promises He made to your ancestors.”Deuteronomy 7:6-8 MSG

Denise

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Photo by denisebalog©2011 – Memorial displayed outside The Knesset, Israeli (Parliament) building. Designed by artist David Palombo. It memorializes the fallen soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces. This artwork visually provokes the image of the crown of thorns Jesus bore on His head.

Day 29 – Joshua Journals

Strong and Courageous – 31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day Twenty-nine – Dor – Dwelling

“…the king of Dor in the heights of Dor, one.” Joshua 12:23 NKJV

The definition of Dor is dwelling – Stemming from the word dowr, (dore) a masculine noun meaning generation to generation. It can also mean a period of time, a setting of time, a circle of existence.

Joshua and his generation was not exempt from facing the enemy of the season or circle of time.

“Now it came to pass, a long time after the LORD had given rest to Israel … Joshua was old, advanced in age.” Joshua 23:1 NKJV

“And Joshua called for all Israel, for their elders, for their heads, …” Joshua gathered them all together.” Joshua 23:2

Joshua gathering, those in position in this period of time, begins to remind them of all they had personally seen the LORD do for them and the people. “…for the LORD, your God is He who has fought for you.” Verse 3

Joshua never ceases to inspire me with his leadership and heart for his people and their children. In the height of his generation and period of time, Joshua continues lead and guide. Encouraging them not to trust in their own accomplishments, and successes, but to remember it is God’s faithfulness that brings them victory!

For victory over the enemy who desires to steal, kill, and destroy our future, remember it is God who is faithful to fight for us!

“The enemy shall not outwit him…” Psalm 89:21

Thanks be to God who fights for me and my next generation! The deceptive lies of going out and coming in have been exposed by the Light of the Truth of Jesus Christ!

I AM the Door! John 10:9 NKJV

Now instead of relying on my own strength, I am equipped with the Word of God secured to my heart for victory! 

“If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture (rest). John 10:9 NKJV

Resting in the One who destroyed the enemy of Dor when the stone was rolled away, and His Power walked out!

“This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD.” Psalm 102:18 NKJV

May you and your children’s, children’s be blessed for a thousand generations in Jesus’s Might Name! Amen!

Denise

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Photos by denisebalog©2018

Photos captured Jerusalem 2018.

Day 28 – Joshua Journals

Strong and Courageous – 31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day Twenty-eight – Jokneam in Carmel – Possessed by the people

“…the king of Jokneam in Carmel, one.” Joshua 12:22 NKJV

Jokneam –   possessed by the people and the people lament.

“Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD … and they put dust on their heads.

And Joshua said, “Alas, Lord God, why…?”

Jokneam the enemy of the heart.   The enemy of doubt when situations do not go as I planned causing me to lament before God asking the question of “Why?”

Knowing he and his people were facing defeat, Joshua boldly asked the LORD, “Then what will You do for Your great name?”

I believe the Lord knew Joshua would struggle daily with his emotions, and the concerns he had for his people. Here in the place of Jokneam, Joshua feeling defeated, lamented asking the questioning of “Why?

In God’s tender mercy, Scripture is very generous to share with us an encouraging word to consider a new view at the place of Jokneam and lament not only for Joshua but for us.

Jokneam name means lament, but by adding “Carmel” the name of the location of where Jokneam is position is significant. Jokneam in Carmel – Carmel means fruitful, a plentiful place, a field.  

Encouraging me to see, when I am in the places and seasons of lament and don’t understand “why”, God’s promises are still true, and He is faithful. He doesn’t leave me in the place or possession of the place of lament. In His Grace I am in Carmel.   

In the plentiful land, the field of rest prepared for me … He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters…He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3 NKJV

Answering Joshua’s question of “Why?”. “For His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3 NKJV

“He restores my soul…for His name’s sake.” Psalm 23 NKJV

“Now the LORD said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed…arise, go up…see, I have given into your hand the king…his people, his city, and his land.” Joshua 8:1 

“So Joshua arose…” Joshua 8:3 NKJV

Thank you for sharing your time with me as we journey the last few days of the Joshua Journals. May your soul be refreshed in God’s promises and faithfulness today and forevermore.

Denise

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Photo capturing the beautiful view standing on top of Mount Carmel, Israel.

Day 27 – Joshua Journals

Strong and Courageous – 31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day Twenty-seven – Kedesh – Sanctuary

“…the king of Kedesh, one.” Joshua 12:22 NKJV

Sanctuary – a holy place, a set aside place, God’s presence is what makes any place, anything, or anyone holy.

Kedesh, the enemy who seeks to cause fear in the safe place of my prayer time, home, and concerns of my heart.

“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him…” Joshua 5:13

Looking up, Joshua beheld the Presence of the LORD. “Joshua fell on his face to the earth.”Verse 14

I can’t help but wonder, as Joshua stood “by Jericho” if he was in prayer as he faced the battle before him. Experiencing the Presence of God, falling to his face in the dirt, he worshiped the LORD right there where he was. Changing the place of battle into a set aside place, a Sanctuary of the Presence of God.

“Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.” Joshua 5:15 NKJV

Joshua’s story encourages me to make any place, anytime, a place set aside for prayer and worship before the Lord.

“Honor and majesty are before Him;

Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.”

Psalm 96:6 NKJV

“The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;

The LORD shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh.”

Psalm 29:8 NKJV

“Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.” Luke 8:47 NKJV

“Until I entered the sanctuary of God.

Then I saw the whole picture.” Psalm 73:17 The Message

Day 27 – Kedesh – a place set aside – Sanctuary

Blessings and Peace,

Denise

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Photo by denisebalog©2014

Photo capturing a double heart mosaic found in Jerusalem.

Day 26 – Joshua Journals

Strong and Courageous – 31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day Twenty-six – Megiddo – Place of Troops

“…the king of Megiddo, one.” Joshua 12:21 NKJV

“You have dwelt long enough at this mountain. Turn and take your journey.” Deuteronomy 1:6-7

Megiddo – the place of the Troops, refers to a company, an army, a raiding party of marauding band of robbers crowded together and pressing together. This group makes inroads into both friendly and enemy territories.  

Turning to complete the journey, how can I successfully be forewarned of the “little kings or enemies” in Joshua’s battles.  The troops of distractions diverting my attention, stealing my supplies, ruffling through my tent, and sifting my camp. Sidetracked by this band of marauders who make inroads into my peace, health, and ability to successfully navigate the day.

Geographically Megiddo is positioned on an overlook at the crossroads of a famous trade route providing a clear vantage point to view any attacking army, or raiding party. Deep grain bins store food and a fresh water supply nourish Joshua’s army and men. 

Position here at Megiddo, I can see clearly by spending time and storing the Word, (the grain) and drinking deeply of the refreshing water, (of the Holy Spirit) I can successfully defeat raiding parties attacking my thoughts, emotions, and life situations pressing against my heart and head. Enabling me to “go up and possess the land (my day)!

“Look, the LORD your God has set the land before you…” Deuteronomy 1:21 NKJV

“Jesus…said to her…whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13-14 NKJV

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38

May you be blessed in spending time in the Word drinking deeply of the living water of the Holy Spirit.

God bless,

Denise

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Photo by denisebalog©2014

Photo captured Megiddo – “Its position at the head of the important pass through the Carmel range gave Megiddo control of the Way of the Sea, and the ancient trade route between Egypt and the east.” (The Holy Land, Oxford University Press. NY. 1986)

Day 25 – Joshua Journals

Strong and Courageous – 31 Days of Victory Through Joshua’s Battles

Day Twenty-five – Taanach – Castle- Fortress

“…the king of Taanach, one.” Joshua 12:21 NKJV

Taanach – castle

Why is castle mentioned twice in Joshua’s story? Lord, is there a reason why You are bringing me back here again?

Is the second mention of castle a struggle with something generational? Maybe a fear or doubt Joshua went back to in his mind.

In all of Joshua successes, knowing there were still enemies to encounter, is it possible Joshua wrestle with a dark castle surrounding his head of hidden fears and doubts. Joshua’s father’s generation let fear and doubt in the LORD’s faithfulness keep them from reaching and entering the Promise Land. Was Joshua worried he would not have the faith to complete his journey?

For victory over the king of Taanach, Joshua’s would need to go back to where his journey began.

“Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.” Joshua 1:6 NKJV

The Promise remained the same. “…which I swore to their fathers.”

“Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him and did as the LORD had commanded Moses.” Deuteronomy 34:9 NKJV

Castles of fear and doubts cast out, Joshua the son of Nun, continued his journey with a victory shout!

“…being confident of the very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 NKJV

May you be blessed by the Father’s mercy and grace to continue your own personal journey. In Jesus’s Name. Amen

God bless,

Denise

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Photo by denisebalog©2014

Photo captured the Mount of the Beatitudes from the Monastery of the Franciscan Mission Sister of IHM by the Sea of Galilee.