A Light has Shined!

To give Light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death. Luke 1:79 NKJV

I felt myself slipping into depression. Sadness moved into my heart and positioned itself to stay. Grieving for my Country, her people and our future is overwhelming for a someone who likes to fix things.

In quiet time, I heard my Friend say to me,

 “Peering too long into the darkness causes you to lose your Light.”

This truth pulled me back from the edge of the pit saving my spirit, and bringing hope back into my soul.  

 I pray these verses brighten your day as we walk in the His Light together.   

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

“Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed…upon them a Light has shined.” Isaiah 9:1-2 NKJV

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I AM the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the Light of life.” John 8:12 NKJV

Photo capture by denisebalog©2020

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 17 – Joshua Journals

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

Day Seventeen – Tappuah – Apple

“…the king of Tappuah, one.” Joshua 12:17 NKJV

What possible enemy can be at a place called Tappuah or Apple?

The Hebrew word “apple” refers to a sweet fragrance, as from a tree, or the center of an eye – the pupil.

Tappuah is from the Hebrew word naphach. One of the meanings of Tappuah is to “give up” and to “lose hope in life”.

Simply put, Tappuah is the enemy of hope.

I wonder if Joshua every felt the daily battle was too much, and some days he felt hopeless wanting to give up?  All energy gone fighting the enemy of Tappauh.

“He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness;

He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.” Deuteronomy 32:10 NKJV

I can’t help thinking, as Joshua and the people traveled, they must have been encouraged seeing fruit trees, and “…the pomegranates and figs” in the land. The sweet fragrance in the air been must have refreshing and gave them hope to continue their journey.

I can now see the way to victory! When I find myself in the place of giving up with no hope, breathe deeply, refocus, and see as God sees me, as the apple of His eye! His sweet fragrance refreshes and renews my hope!

Thank You Father for seeing me.

Keeping me safe in Your hand.

For when I lose my focus, I’m an easy target of man.

Extend Your sweet fragrance upon me in the middle of my fight.

For I know Your eye is ever towards Hope,

And You make all things right.

May you always remember how God sees you, as the apple of His eye!

Denise

“Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me under the shadow of Your wings.”Psalm 17:8 NKJV

(Isn’t He the sweetest! David’s Psalm Seventeen is right in step with Joshua’s Day Seventeen. Lord, thank You for keeping us in the center of Your Love today!)

From The Joshua Journals of denisebalog©2020

Poem by denisebalog©2020

Photo by denisebalog©2011

Photo capturing almond trees in their first bloom of the season. I can remember seeing the petals floating through the air, and hearing our guide explain, those who see the first blossom of the year receive an extra blessing. We were like maidens in bridal procession enjoying the favor of the center of His eye. A hillside in Sephoris, a town located an eye’s distance from Nazareth, Israel 2011

Bridal View

Reservations cancelled and scheduled for another time and season.

In the midst of this storm we ride out together there is hope in our future.

 

“Today I thought Your plan involved a wedding in Virginia.

Family gathered, hugs and kisses, future commitment.

Instead You’ve revealed Yourself so clear.

“Draw into My Presence”

For I Am Your shelter, joy, and wedding feast,

Hope unlimited.”

 

“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,

My soul shall be joyful in my God.

For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,

He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,

As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,

And a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,

So, the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth

Before all the nations.”

Isaiah 61:10-11 NKJV

 

Poem by dbalog©2020

Photos by dbalog©2020

 

 

Fruit in the Time of Testing

“…feed on His faithfulness…”

My garden as been such a reflection of my life this year.

Just when I want to give up, I step outside and see fruit on the vine that was barren and long past yielding any hope for the future.

Oh my soul, wait. Yes, wait on the Lord for He will surely bring His promises and word to pass.

May this be an encouragement to all who, like me, are waiting on the Lord.

“Trust in the Lord…dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness…Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:3-6 NKJV

I find it encouraging to see there are 40 verses in Psalm 37. Forty (40) is the number for “testing” in Scripture.

He is their strength in the time of trouble, and the LORD shall help them…and save them because they trust in Him.” Psalm 37:40 NKJV

Between the “Still” and “Wait”

When I thought, “My foot slips”

Your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.

When the cares of my heart are many,

Your consolations cheer my soul.” Psalm 94:18 ESV

“Time line –

Between September and October.

Between Still and Wait.

Between Here and Now.

Between Walk and Faith”.

For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV

Time Line by denisebalog 2018

Grace in the Wilderness

Two years ago I was lead to quit my beloved position as Elementary secretary.

My son would be a Senior the coming year and he didn’t need to have his “Momma” so close at hand. I bit of tough love for both of us.

The Lord gave me a promise in His Word.

“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you.” Jeremiah 31:3

I knew if He drew me out, even though it made no sense in the natural thinking and ways of the world, I knew, believed in my heart, my Good, Good Father knew best.

In His kindness He opened the door for many wonderful experiences over these past two years.

The opportunity to attend several “Measured by Character” programs that go into Middle and High schools to build up our youth and tear down “bullying” in the schools.

The Lord opened the door to restore, what I had long forgotten, my love for photography. Encouraging and blessings my hand to photograph many He laid to my heart to do so for His glory.

He brought my lens to help out at Cowboy camp.

And to my complete surprise, returning me to Israel when again it would not have ever been possible without His drawing me.

With all that said, in the midst of my two years, I would return to the following verse of His promises.

“Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt…you shall again be adorned with your tambourines, and shall go forth in the dance of those who rejoice.” Jeremiah 31:4 NKJV

____________________________________________

This post was (so I thought) originally posted on Wednesday, September 5. The night before I would begin again, as one “who rejoice” by substitute teaching up at school.

My first class was Art – 5th, 3rd, 1st grades and older students in the afternoon. We had a blast!

I wondered what had happen t the post?  Discovering somehow between beginning on my phone and finishing on the desktop, it never posted.

I pray you are blessed to be reminded His Word is Faithful and True. 

“…He remains faithful – for He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13 ESV

Blessings,

Denise

 

Colors of Hope

“LORD,

You’ve planted a vision

Deep inside of me.

Stir up the colors,

Refresh my eyes to see.

Plans for the future,

Guided by Your Son.

“To prosper and not harm me,

You’ve purposed everyone!”

 

“For I know the thoughts

That I think toward you,

Says the LORD,

Thoughts of

Peace and not evil,

To give you a

Future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

Poem by denisebalog©2016

Photograph captured by denisebalog©2018 – Jerusalem

Sure and Steadfast

“This hope we have as an anchor of our soul,

Both sure and steadfast…” Hebrews 6:19 NKJV

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us,

In that while we were still sinners,

Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 NKJV

 

Photographs captured by denisebalog©2018 at Caesarea, Israel

Walk don’t Race

“Don’t lose sight of the vision.
For with God there is no revision.
Only mercy and grace
In life’s empty place.
For His plan is a walk
And not a hopeless race.”

“Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God,
The LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary…
He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might
He increases strength..
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:28-31 NKJV

image

Poem by denisebalog 2018
Photo capture by denisebalog 2017

Oil of Joy – Restoration – Part 2 of 3

“The oil of joy for mourning,

The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…” Isaiah 61:3 NKJV

Eighteen years after fire

Consuming the Tac Barn, temporarily storing our lifetime of family memories, my family and I began to reclaim the overgrown horse pen.

2017

 

 Working side by side, we bonded with the land and appreciation for the opportunity to do so.

Never realizing we were moving in a new path of restoration.

Through no will or action on our own, a friend asked if we would be interested in a little building she used as a small office. Yes, we were interested, but with a son heading to college, purchasing was not in the plans.

Friends moved the little building with excitement and joy of helping.

Grace, pure Grace. No purchase required.

Completely gifted, and in God’s beauty of Restoration, it fit PERFECTLY on the fire marred cement slap where the original Tac barn once stood.

Did God have a plan for this new building?

Friends came to help establish God’s plan.

While we were cleaning up and  marveling in what was happening before our eyes, a “Vision” was beginning to be birth in my heart.

 

Tomorrow’s post – Work  and Purpose – Vision Direction – 3 of 3