God Will Open

Pull me out of thinking about last night, last year’s troubles.

Waking to remember, I got my car stuck in the mud last night bringing my Mom home in the pouring rain.

 It didn’t help leaving the car running for 15 minutes while I got her settled in for the night. Then there was the hesitation when I tried to pull away. I knew then, “I’m in trouble now” Reminding myself of the advice I recently heard,

“To hesitate is to tolerate.”

Marcus, who helps me every night to transport Mom and her wheelchair up and back from our house for dinner, (she is no weight bearing for another couple of weeks), we tried throwing rugs under the front wheel, but the tires continued to spin and sink deeper into Mom’s front yard. How stupid is this, I know better, now I’ll have to tolerate (endure, accept, stomach) the results of my actions.

Determined not to let it ruin our night, the last night of the year, we gathered our things and walked back up the lane singing. Yep, what else could we do in the cold, pouring rain of New Year’s Eve 2020. Seemed like a fitting end to this year.

“Over the river and through the woods,” we walked home, feet soaked, (of course, I didn’t slip on my rubber boots by the backdoor before leaving the house. I’m only going to be 15 minutes) Yes Mom, I remember, “Always put-on clean underwear when you go out in case something happens.” Only this time I could have used this advice for wearing my rubber boots!

So this morning, the first morning of the new year, I wondered to myself pouring the first cup of coffee, before dealing with my car “stuck” in the mud, “Gosh Lord, is this the word for the new year?

Don’t get stuck thinking about your troubles of 2020.

As is my way to study and understand, I picked up the Concordance to see if “stuck” was in the Bible. Nope, no “stuck”. That’s comforting, looks like God doesn’t see things as stuck. Humm, “What are you trying to say Lord?”

Opening the pages to Isaiah, my eyes fell on

“For since the beginning of the world

Men have not heard,

Nor perceived by the ear,

Nor has the eye seen any God beside You,

Who acts for the one who waits for Him.”

Isaiah 64:4 NKJV

Yes Lord, “Who acts for the one who waits for Him.”

The editor noted in the margin, next to verse 64: 4 “Psalm 31:19”. Seeking to hear and understand, I followed the path to Psalm 31. The answer to my question for this year was found in verse 4.

“Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,

For You are my Strength.”

Psalm 31:4 NKJV

Pull me out –

Yes Lord, You “lead and guide me” verse 3.

Pull me out of thinking about last night, last year’s troubles.

Lead and Guide me, for You are my Strength.

The Hebrew word cluster for “pull me out” is numbered in the Concordance as #3318 (for those who like to dig deeper). Pull me out – yatsa – to go, to bring out, carry forth, a variety of words…shoot forth, spring out. #3319 – to finish.

Glancing up to see #3317 – (wait for it)

#3317 – Yiphtach or Jiphthah El

God will Open!

Now there’s a word I receive and can carry forth, shoot forth, spring out into the new year of 2021!

Don’t get stuck looking back on my troubles in 2020.

Yes, God knows I still have to deal with getting my car out of the mud, but I’m not to let, my troubles keep me stuck in yesterday’s problems. Following His path to see and hear, God acts for the one who waits for Him”.

God will Open

Thank you Lord, You will open, carry forth, ALL Your good plans as we allow You to “lead” and guide” us through this New Year in Jesus’ Mighty Name! Amen!

And what was verse 19 in Psalm 31 that sent me there in the first place?

“Oh, how great is Your goodness,

Which You have laid up for those who fear You,

Which You have prepared for those who trust in You

In the presence of the sons of men!” Psalm 31:19

Ps: Blue and Sarah our good friends are on their way to help us out! Thank You Jesus!

God will Open! Yes, thank You Lord!

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.

Day 24 – Joshua Journals

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

Day Twenty-four – Aschshaph – Enchantment

“…the king of Aschshaph, one.” Joshua 12:20 NKJV

Take note, the king of Aschshaph, mentioned twice in Joshua’s battles, may be the most dangerous of all.

Encountering many battles throughout the journey, the king of Aschshaph, the king of enchantment, fascination, a curse, and properly “to whisper” can be an elusive enemy to detect. Like a whisper in the ear or a glitter, catching the eye, once caught, can be an invisible snare to overcome.

“Get up!” Joshua’s heart fainted when he saw the defeat before an enemy. The LORD asked Joshua, “Why do you lie thus on your face?” “Get up, sanctify the people…sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because …there is an accursed thing in your midst.” Joshua 7:10-13

Sanctify yourselves – don’t eat or drink what the world is doing or what is in their camp. The glitter of robe, the weight of the silver, and the wedge of gold Achan hid under his tent, the subtle whisper of the enemy of enchantment captivated Achan, bringing his end to the Valley of Sorrows.

Joshua, after dusting himself off and the night to mediate on his bed, may have remembered the encounter the children of Israel had on the plains of Moab across from Jericho. Zippor, the king of the Moabites, sent his son Balak to hire the prophet Balaam to curse Israel. After many attempts, the LORD spoke through Balaam over the camp of Israel,

“Behold, I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it…The LORD his God is with him…God brings them out of Egypt…For there is no enchantment against Jacob, nor any divination against Israel!” Numbers 23:20-23

At this place of the king of Achshap, like Joshua, I am thankful to remember, our God is with us, bringing us out of the world and Egypt, blesses us and fights our daily battle of the lies and whispers seeking to destroy our peace and rest.

Jesus dealt with the hiss of this whisper “when the tempter came to Him, and said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” Jesus answered, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” The snake tried to deceive Jesus into questioning His Sonship. Scripture share few lines before, “And suddenly a voice came from heaven saying, “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” The deceiver left out the Beloved. Matthew 3:17 & 4:3-4 NKJV

May we always remember every word that proceeds for the mouth of God, we are the beloved in Jesus, Who loved us first; we are His Bride, and the future is our story! 1 John 4:19 – Revelations 21:9

“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.” In Jesus’s Name, Amen – Numbers 6:24-26 NKJV

Denise

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Photos by denisebalog©2011 – Photos captured from the bus and in Jappa,(Joppa) Israel.

Brides, and grooms, can be seen at the beautiful, seaside port of Jappa (Joppa) having their pictures taken prewedding ceremony. Like Jacob, the groom wants to see his bride before marrying her, not waking up to Leah in the morning deceived.

Day 16 – Joshua Journals

Day Sixteen – Bethel – house of God

“…the king of Bethel, one.” Joshua 12:16 NKJV

The Hebrew definition of Beth is a house, especially a family a dwelling place, and yes, according to the definition, a dungeon. Ouch, that one hurt. “El” of Bethel means – strength, might and power.

I wondered as Joshua and the people prepared to move out of camp, did he need to be reminded to encourage and pray for his people? Joshua’s story shares, Joshua would often call them together to encourage and remind them the LORD was with them and fought for them.

“And Joshua called for all Israel…You have seen all that the LORD your God has done…for the LORD your God is He who has fought for you.” Joshua 23:2&3 NKJV

Lord is the “battle of Bethel”, in the remembering to pray for my family, my dwelling place? Reminding them, You are the One who goes with us, lest we forget and become like a “dungeon” of darkness and open to prey. For I am seeing as Joshua’s story unfolds, it’s here in this place called Bethel, we received Your strength, power and victory each day!

“Choose for yourselves this day who you will serve…but as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15 NKJV

Thank You Father, You are our dwelling place.

The One we hold tight too.

You keep our feet from slipping,

As we keep our eyes on You.

Thank You for fighting our battles,

For we have no good apart from You!  

“But you shall hold fast to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day.” Joshua 23:8 NKJV

“For the LORD, your God is He who has fought for you.” Joshua 23:3 NKJV

Thank you fellow journeyers, I appreciate your time in reading this study. As I’ve searched through travel journals reading bits and pieces of memories, I’m reminded, even when I was tired and the days seemed long, it was the Lord God who guided the way, and in Him we found our joy  and strength for the day. God bless.

Denise

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Poems by denisebalog©2020

Photo captured before we began our day’s journey from the shores of Galilee, in Israel 2018.

Dancing Loved – Part Two

“Dancing loved my heart conceals.

He speaks His Truth in Word reveals.

Plans and purpose His good for me.

What once was lame my heart does see.”

 

“For indeed I AM for you, and I will turn to you…I will make you inhabited as in former times and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I AM the LORD.” Ezekiel 36:9-11 NKJV

 

Having come through a long season of waiting…my heart now sees.

 

Poem by denisebalog©2019

Photo captured by mbalog©2019

Dancing Loved

“Lead me Lord, guide my path.

Broken feet restored at last.

Safe and covered by Your redeeming blood.

From limping lost to dancing loved.

 

“Then David danced before the LORD with all his might…” 2 Samuel 6:14 NKJV

Like David, (whose name means beloved), our dance is a personal.

 

Poem and photography by denisebalog©2019

Creativity’s Fan

“Reach from heaven; extend Your Creative Hand.

Shake me from complacency to pick up the pen and fan!”

Poem by denisebalog 2019

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:6&7 NIV

Morning Wings

“Can I rise in time to see the sky?

Blink the blush from morning eyes?

Or will the clouds

Conceal the view

For uniquely theirs and

Only You?”

“In my distress I called upon the LORD,

And cried out to my God;

He heard my voice… and

He flew upon the wings of the wind…

He delivered me because He delighted in me.”

Psalm 18:6-19 NKJV

Song of David to the LORD on the day

He “delivered him from all his enemies and the hand of Saul.”

 

Poem by denisebalog©2017

Photographs by denisebalog©2017

Calling the Heart

“What season lies ahead in December?

Calling the heart to remember?

Christmas and bells,

Sights and the smells;

All memories of gladness put together.

But centered on You,

I desire the view

Of a “Season” of ponder and praise.

For in life holds

More than silver and gold, and

The story of Love

Of the Babe from above

Bringing

Joy, Peace and Heaven forever!”

“Do not be afraid, for behold,

I bring good tiding of great joy

Which will be to all people.”

Luke 2:10 NKJV

 

Poem by denisebalog©2017

Photographs by denisebalog©2016

Open Heart

“Doors wide open;

Summer breathing still.

Open up my heart Lord;

I long to hear Your will.”

 

“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19 (NKJV)

Mosaic fishes – Sea of Galilee 2014

Mosaic fishes – Sea of Galilee 2014

 

Poem by denisebalog©2017

Photos captured in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee 2014