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Free to choose

Deuteronomy 11:26-28 – “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.”

Joshua 24:15 – “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

The other day is saw a meme – “You are free to choose but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.”

So very true. Too often, I think, we feel that we have the right to choose whatever way and desire and action to engage in that we want. We should be free to make those choice – regardless of what anyone else may say, think or do. And we are free to make those choices. But the one making the choice better be ready to accept the consequences. 

Consequences are often overlooked. They are pesky little things that no one wants to deal with. Yet, like a bad penny, they keep turning up. And they must be dealt with. 

Consequences can sometimes be good and sometimes they are not so good. They may seem bad at the time but turn out for the good. Regardless of how they turn out, consequences are the direct result of a choice. 

God gives us choices. He doesn’t want an army of robots to serve Him. He wants followers who love Him and choose to serve Him because of that love. And because He loves us and gives us that choice, He also gives us the opportunity to make the most out of consequences – good and bad. 

Today, you WILL have choices to make. You WILL experience consequences- good and bad. But one of the greatest things about these opportunities is that God has the ability to teach you in each choice and in each consequence. You (and I) need to be willing to learn in both situations. 

So, stretch those muscles, breathe deep and get ready for the challenge – He wants you to choose to serve Him today and He wants you to be ready for the consequences of that choice. Happy Wednesday!

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Mighty Man of Valour

Joshua 10:7-10 – “So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour. And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee. Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night. And the LORD discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah.”

Happy Memorial Day from Kauai!

I just finished my morning perusal of Facebook and was admiring all the posts relating to this day. All the pictures of the soldiers. All the pictures of the families crying next to their loved one’s tombstone. It makes me so sad. I think about all those families who have lost loved ones and who have loved ones on the front lines. I appreciate all those people who willingly put their lives on the line for me every single day. Their sacrifice amazes and encourages me. 

And I know this day is a day we set aside to remember our military and their sacrifice, but I also want to remember the military of the past – the long ago past, say, Biblical times. 

Joshua was a warrior. He was devoted to the Lord and he was devoted to Moses. He was one of the scouts to the Promised Land that said, “Come boys! We got this!” when all the others said “No way!”. He was a “mighty man of valour”. 

I want you to take a close look at this passage. You see, Joshua went up to fight these guys. But I want you to look at Who went up before them – the LORD. Now, when you see “LORD”, the writer is talking about Yaweh. This is the Most Holy Name of God. This name is not used frequently. When the writer wrote it, they had a very specific ritual they had to go through just to write it. 

But my point is this – Joshua was not a mighty man of valour on his own. What made him so was his firm belief and confidence in God. He knew that God + him equals more than any one person or army could conquer. He knew that with God on his side that nothing was impossible. He diligently asked God what He wanted him to do. He determined in his heart to follow after God no matter how crazy or ridiculous the plan sounded (remember Jericho?).  This was a true mighty man of valour. 

So to all our military personnel and their families, I salute you and I encourage you to seek out the One who makes you a true hero – Jesus Christ. He is the one who can make you mighty man of valour as well. And remember, you don’t have to be in the military to be this mighty man of valour. You can be a mighty princess of valour too! All it takes is a firm determination to seek out Christ in all that you do and follow Him no matter what. 

Joshua vs. Jericho

Joshua 6:1-5 – “Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.”

There are several battle stories in the Bible, but I must say that this is one of my favorites (I like Gideon too though….). This is one of those times that God told the leader to do something weird and wacky and it worked.

Can you imagine if God told you to do what He told Joshua to do to win a battle? Would you do it? Or would your “common sense” kick in and you laugh at God and His hair-brain ideas?

Let’s set up the scene – Here is Joshua, leading this nation of people, and they come upon this city that is surrounded by this ginormous wall. I have heard it told that this wall was about six feet thick. I can’t tell you the height but it had to have been huge. This was a seemingly impenetrable wall. Yet, God had told them to take the city. I’m sure that someone doubted but they also trusted. They trusted that Joshua knew what he was doing and that God could bring them through this.

Now imagine that you are standing there looking at this wall and God has told you to walk around it for six days without making a sound. Then on the seventh day, walk around it seven times and then shout really loud with the trumpets blowing and the walls will come down. How crazy does that sound? But that is exactly what God told them the battle plan was. The people in the city had to have been amused at first and then unnerved by about day five.

The children of Israel were obedient. They did exactly what God said to do and the wall surely fell. It didn’t fall into a rubble. It fell into the ground. The Bible teaches that the wall went down in such a way that the people walked in “every man straight before him” (Joshua 6:20). How amazingly cool is that?

This story gives us so much. It reminds us that when God tells us to do something that He provides exactly what we need to accomplish His will. It also encourages us to follow Him even when the plan is crazy. God wants us to follow Him no matter what. He wants us to do what He tells us to, no matter what. Sometimes I think that God throws us a curve ball just to keep us on our feet. It reminds us to trust Him. There are some things in this life that you cannot or should not face on your own. There are times when you are going to face a six foot thick wall that seems impassable. These are the times to trust. These are the times to remember that you don’t have to have all the answers. These are the times to remember that God will provide exactly what you need exactly when you need it.

So, princess, don’t fret. Don’t worry. Don’t give the devil a foothold of doubt. Just look at that wall and keep on a walking. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

Mighty Men of Valor

Joshua 1:14 – “Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valor, and help them”(KJV)

Mighty men of valor. Where have you gone? Those men who would go out before their family and fight for what was right.

What is valor? It is a term that we don’t often hear these days. Probably because not many are worthy of the title. It means “strength of mind in regard to danger; that quality which enables a man to encounter danger with firmness; personal bravery; courage; intrepidity; prowess”. I got that definition from an 1828 Webster’s dictionary.

Now don’t get me wrong. There are still mighty men of valor. But what does it take in today’s world to earn that title? Oh, the first thing that comes to my mind is a Navy Seal or someone like that. People that don’t even think twice about danger. Those people are rare. They are certainly worthy of honor and respect. I know I couldn’t do that task.

But let’s think in our own homes. Men, and I know I have male readers, let me encourage you to be one of these “mighty men of valor”. As a wife, I want to depend upon my husband to make the tough calls. I want him to lead me with “strong hands”, to “stand up when I can’t”. I want him to face the dangers. I want him to lead me spiritually. He has a tough job, being my husband. Poor guy. I feel sorry for him. I can be a handful. And I admit it. But yet, I see him as a “mighty man of valor”. Oh, he’s not perfect. He makes me mad. But I know it is reciprocated. We don’t have the perfect marriage. But we are determined to try, with God’s hand around us.

The reason I’m writing this is because we need more “mighty men of valor”. We need them in our homes, in our churches, in our community, in our government. Look at David’s mighty men in 1 Chronicles 11:10-47. These men were TOUGH! They are out there defending Israel like it is nobody’s business. They are doing things that made Samson look like he needed a lesson. And they did it out of loyalty and love. Loyalty to their king and their brothers. And love for their family and their nation. These men were ready to take on the world – or at least a 7 1/2 ft tall man(vs. 23).

So my princess blog today is for you fellas. We princesses need a knight in shining armor. You may not win our heart, for our heart may belong to another, but you will certainly win our respect. We need to see you choose to stand up for what is right, even when it is hard and you don’t necessarily like it. Make the choice to love your wife. To honor her by choosing to work through it. Show your sons what it means to be a “mighty man of valor”. Show him how to make those tough choices. Show him how to love. Show him how to face danger. And please, whatever you do, don’t give up. God has called you to a very important task. One that can make or break the future. Make the choice to follow after David’s men or Joshua’s men. Whatever you do, just be God’s man to use.

The Daily Choice

Joshua 24:15 – “…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

We sometimes don’t like to admit that serving God is a choice. There are people in our society that would like to akin serving God to being a slave. And really, that is exactly what we are. We have a choice to be a slave to sin and the darkness of this world or we can choose to be a slave to the God of the Universe and the Father of Light. Hum, tough choice.

Each and every day, princess, you have a choice to make. You can choose to get up and live your life for Christ or you can choose to live life for yourself.

Deuteronomy 30:19,20 – “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life…”

Choices. You have to choose each day – blessings or curses and life or death. Princess, please, make the choice for blessings and life on this day. Don’t let the devil drag you down into the pit. Look to the Light and follow Him.