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Eowyn's Heart

The name of this blog is based on the character Eowyn from Lord of the Rings because I strongly identify with her on many levels. The purpose of this blog is to proclaim the glory of my Lord and King through His work in conforming me into the image of His Son, Christ Jesus. In all things, I trust you will see His hand at work.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Be the Donkey . . .

Today's musings are taken from John 12 and are excerpted from my notes of this past Sunday's sermon (https://vimeo.com/218483565) with some further extended musings as I have meditated on these concepts.  Our Pastor was taking a look at the Triumphal Entry scene and under the primary topic of "Demonstration" and the sub-point "Demonstration of His [Christ's] Authority", he brought up something Ron and I had never considered before - and, for us, it was profound.

Take a look at the donkey - have you ever considered the beauty of this animal's role in this scene?  With cross-referencing to Luke 19:28-36 and Mark 11:2-3, we can be inspired to BE the DONKEY :-)  

First, because of the culture of the day and the Levitical law that the Jews followed, we can consider that this donkey may have been redeemed (Ex 13:13 and 34:20).  We can't say this with certainty because the Scripture does not tell us if this was the first-born or not.  I like the analogy though and would like to believe this is most probable because of the rest of the image that is painted.  If we allow this presumption (bearing in mind that it IS a "presumption"), we see an animal chosen for the Lord's use that was redeemed by the blood of a lamb.  

Second, the donkey had to be released.  It was tied up when the disciples found it (as Christ said it would be).  Consider how many things we are tied up to in life - especially life before Christ, but even after.  I get tied up by work obligations and housekeeping and facebook and family obligations and TV and financial concerns and emotional stuff and so on and so on.  Some are things that could/should be avoided, some are things I have no control over, some are not "bad" in and of themselves - but all of it are things/situations/thoughts/time-wasters/etc. that I allow to keep me from accomplishing my God-designed purpose in life.  We've all got those things we need to be released from in order to truly accomplish the good works that God designed us for.

Third, the donkey needed to be ruled.  Think about it - a colt on which NO ONE had EVER ridden.  My teenage years were spent on 10 acres in Penrose, Colorado.  We had horses & cattle & such so I have a personal understanding of the importance of that phrase.  The colt was not broke in.  Under normal circumstances, that would mean it would be difficult at best to get on it's back and really tough to stay there as it bucked and twisted to get rid of the unwanted weight placed on it's back.  

I also have a unique perspective because of our experience with our own filly born to one of our mares.  My sister is AWESOME with animals.  Fearless and so full of love for them :-)  She raised that filly - spending time with it every day from birth.  That filly learned early to TRUST her.  It also saw us taking it's momma and the other horses out - putting saddles and bridles on them and riding them out of the pen - around the block.  That filly learned that freedom came in the form of a saddle & bridle and rider and that it was not a thing to be feared.  So - when the time came, she willingly accepted the bridle and saddle - she was THRILLED to be ridden - there was a little jumping at the unexpected weight, but she adjusted quickly.

Two lessons from all this:  One, Jesus authority was demonstrated in His ability to easily mount and ride that colt - it TRUSTED Him - animals have a sense for that and I'm sure the fact that Jesus was God and therefore the colt's creator probably had something to do with that.  The colt trusted Him to guide him through crowds of people waving palm fronds and blankets (most horses would rear & shy at such an experience). We should trust Him the same way.  Though the experience is new and maybe uncomfortable and maybe scary - if God is leading the way, we should follow confidently.

Two, we should gain confidence in our Creator when we see His work in the lives of our fellow believers.  Those who have gone before with faith in God show us that taking up our cross and following Him is the true path to freedom.  We are told to take up our cross and to take His yoke upon ourselves - and these would seem, logically, to be burdensome things - and yet we are told that His yoke is easy and His burden is light - and it is only in choosing to "be saddled and bridled" that we find our true purpose and true freedom.

So - my encouragement to you today is to BE THE DONKEY - be redeemed by the blood of the lamb, be freed from the things that keep you from your purpose, and be willing to be saddled, bridled, and ruled by the Lord Jesus Christ.  Therein lies peace, contentment, hope, joy, and so much more.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Oh how the Devil likes to plague us! Unfortunately, he often has nothing to do as we plague ourselves . . . Have you ever found LIFE to be a distraction from PURPOSE?  I have *determined* to spend time in the Word daily . . . but that didn't happen yesterday.  I have *determined* to keep up with this YL boot camp . . . I've only done that partially - the book reading & workbook (which are NOT heavy requirements) have thus far eluded me . . . I have *determined* to exercise - JUST 10 MINUTES - every morning  - guess what's not happening THIS morning . . .      sigh.

That darned clock - keeps ticking - and time "keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future . . . ."  Nevertheless, I will continue to STRIVE for success and I am NOT giving up.  The mountainous circumstances that either I cannot control or I simply have not yet learned how to circumnavigate WILL give way.  

That said - I will simply let this blog be a prayer request this morning.  Please pray that I remain steadfastly committed to the things God has laid on my heart to do - namely:

  • Time in His Word EVERY day (preferably in the morning) with a blog post, however brief, as that really helps me focus on hearing the Lord speak and making personal application of what I'm reading.
  • 10 minutes of exercise every day (again, preferably in the morning) - I need to get HEALTHY and that is one key component of the process.  My Simply Fit board is an excellent resource and I need to use it!!
  • Fully participate in the "Game Plan Boot Camp" - this is another key step toward health and wellness - both physically (as we rid our home of toxins and add in healthy, healing products) and financially (as we pursue becoming debt free).
  • To not cheat my employer of time by being distracted with Facebook and the Essential Oils business.  I need to honor the Lord in the work I do for my employer!!
Your prayers are so very much appreciated!

Monday, May 08, 2017

Discipline - and a brief look at John 17

If you follow me on Facebook, you might know that Ron (my husband) and I are embarking on a new adventure with Young Living essential oils.  As part of that, I (we) jumped into what they call "boot camp", which is a disciplined program designed to help us get a strong start in building what will become our business.  One of the things the particular Young Living group I'm a part of emphasizes is balance and right priorities - God first, family 2nd, church/others 3rd, business 4th.

Why does this matter?  Because it is entering this boot camp that has spurred me to greater discipline in my personal spiritual walk.  I have committed to certain work hours and activities BUT, more importantly, I have committed to NOT work on the business until I have had time in the Word and, to the extent possible, blogged about it.  There is no point building a business if my relationship with Christ is negatively affected by that activity - business is temporary, my relationship with Christ is eternal and FAR more important.

So, this morning I opened my Bible to John 17.  I know that skips 18 & 19 (which I have also read) but it was the passage that was preached on yesterday in church and it has not let me go yet.  I needed to read it thoroughly - and I may get stuck here for the next few days while it all soaks in.  Here's my thoughts this morning:

Purpose - in this prayer, Christ addresses first & foremost His purpose and in doing so sets the example and displays our purpose.  V.1 - He asks the Father to glorify Him THAT He may glorify the Father. V4 - He has glorified the Father - how? by doing the work He was sent to do. V5 He asks to be glorified with the Father - to be restored to the glory He had before taking on human form.  Key word - Glory or Glorify.  

Why did Christ come?  To provide a sacrifice so we could be cleansed from our sin and our relationship with the Father could be restored? Yes, but WHY did He provide that sacrifice?  To bring glory to the Father.  If you have not read "Desiring God" by John Piper, I HIGHLY recommend this study.  Through it Pastor Piper shows how, throughout the Bible, ALL things that happened - from the fall to the cross to the second coming to the millenial kingdom - ALL is meant for the ultimate and final goal of bringing glory to God - and it is a beautiful and loving and perfect goal.

Our purpose - to love others as we love ourselves - why? to bring glory to God; Our purpose - to serve those in need - why? to bring glory to God; Our purpose - to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Savior - why? to bring glory to God: Our purpose - to be faithful and obedient children - why? to bring glory to God; Our purpose - to endure suffering and hardship - why? to bring glory to God; and etc.

The end purpose - the end reason for the existence of mankind - our deepest need and our greatest joy is found in fulfilling our purpose - what we were designed for - to bring glory to God.

Oh, there is so much more, but it will have to wait for tomorrow as I must exercise a little discipline and get to the next commitment I have made :-)

I hope you are encouraged and challenged by these thoughts - GO and bring glory to God today!  :-)

Friday, May 05, 2017

Oh the temptation . . . .

Good Morning.  That I am here this morning writing this post is a testament to God's grace in giving me the will to overcome temptations I would (and have) normally succumbed to - specifically, the TASKS of the day that are even now niggling at the back of my mind, trying to draw me away.  "More important" - that is the lie Satan endeavors to sell me.  Today, I am endeavoring to ignore that little lie screaming in my head.  So far, so good :-) though I am admittedly a bit distracted by it.

I had a couple of thoughts from John 21 that I wanted to share yesterday, so let's get to that, shall we?

I have a note on the side of my Bible next to v 5 & 6 where Jesus asks if the disciples have any food and they respond that they do not.  It says, "Remember who God is and who, in our inadequacy, we depend upon. John 15:5"  The last part of the verse referenced says simply, "without Me you can do nothing."  Ponder on that a bit.  Each breath (whether you are a believer or not) is a gift from God; each step - whether aided or unaided - is a gift from God; each rational thought is a gift from God; each creative thought is a gift from God."  

In the past I have taught on the verse that tells us we can do ALL things **through Christ** (an essential part of the equation) who strengthens us - and I always emphasize - "What does "ALL" mean?  ALL means ALL.  Not some, not most, not nearly all - ALL.  There is NOTHING we cannot do IF we are abiding in Christ and relying on HIM to strengthen us to do it.  This reminder from John 15:5 now leads me to a new powerful thought.  "What does "NOTHING" mean?"  Ponder that a bit more . . .  NOTHING means NOTHING - we do not exist without God.  Truly, it is HIS thoughts of us that cause us to be here at all.  Every movement, every skill, every heart we touch.

I've heard this taught that basically it means we can do nothing "of value" - but I think it's more than that.  This is just a thought I had this morning as I was putting this together and there are a hundred questions that come up with it meaning this could turn into a full blown novel if I pursue it too far  . . . what about those who commit evil deeds, for instance . . ..  Questions worthy of consideration and pondering, but for today, I'm going to settle with simply - Nothing means Nothing - which should lead us to much gratitude for so many things we take for granted on a daily basis.

The other thing I wanted to touch base on in John 21 was the "Peter, Do you love Me?" section in verses 15-19.  Just because the "fine print" is often missed in Sunday Sermons and, personally, I feel it is the most relevant and essential part of the passage.

It is important to note that the first two times Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him, he uses the greek word "agape" for "love".  This is an unconditional love - the highest form of love and is the word used to describe God's love for us "in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  Agape love is a choice made by one regardless of the other.  It is the love humans can only have IF they have a relationship with Christ - it is exclusive to believers (and, unfortunately, often elusive to believers).  Both times Peter responds with the greek word "phileo" - Peter cannot (having denied Christ at the crucifixion) honestly say he loves Jesus unconditionally - so he uses the next strongest term he can - phileo - a "brotherly affection".  A strong love, but NOT unconditional.  Peter is acknowledging his weakness - his humanity.   The third time Christ poses the question, he uses "phileo" - which is why Peter is grieved that Christ asked him a third time.  Jesus came down to his level and accepted what Peter could honestly offer.  

Also important to note is that, despite the change in the question, the command NEVER changes - Peter is commanded to preach. Period.  Essentially, Jesus has said, I accept that your love is imperfect and I want to use you anyway.  Now, I fully believe that, over time and with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (which came fully later on), Peter was able to say, "Yes Lord, I 'agape' you!" and this is proven out in the way he lived and died for the gospel, BUT God did not require him to get to that level before using him.  SO IMPORTANT - God can/will use you RIGHT NOW - AS YOU ARE - if you will just give him 100% of what you can.  He will take that and grow it and develop you into what He has called you to be if you just surrender who you are to Him.

I will endeavor to complete notes on chapters 18 & 19 tomorrow.  May the Lord use these thoughts to encourage and challenge your heart today.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes . . .

So - it's been a while . . . . 

Some of my absence was controllable, some was not.  I'm sure you've all had the same challenges in life so I'm not going to beat myself up for it - just gonna take the bull by the horns and start again.  I must say, it's so much easier to be faithful to this kind of study and writing when teaching a physical class - when you KNOW there will be people there each week expecting to hear something useful from you.  I am on a learning and growing curve so Thank You for your patience with me.

That said, I tried to get back to the Return To Me study today.  It felt flat.  Nothing I read felt like it was what I was supposed to be reading.  I re-read Day 5 to get back "into the groove" then on to Day 6 and just felt in my Spirit that this was not where God wanted me today.  It's been on my mind a lot lately to be reading the book of John since that is what our pastor is preaching from - reading ahead to prepare my heart for the sermons - so I thought I'd jump into that.  As he's going through the book in reverse (you can check out our "REWIND" series at https://vimeo.com/user42684521), I'm not 100% sure what chapter he'll go to next.  We've done ch. 20 - 18, so one would presume 17, but he sometimes skips and I like context so I thought I'd start in 15 and work my way up through 17 at least.  Again, the reading felt "flat."  So I thought for a bit and calculated that if I started in 20 today and read 1 chapter back each day, I'd be on 17 by Sunday and maybe be better prepared with reverse context in mind - so I started on chapter 20 - and it felt right!  :-)

Today's thoughts, therefore, are from John 20-21.  They will be brief and somewhat light, but it's where the Lord has me today and my prayer is that something in here will inspire, encourage, challenge, or otherwise have a positive impact on your day :-)

20:9-10 "For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead, Then the disciples went away again to their own homes."  A lesson in not presuming on what a fellow believer should/should not understand.  From our perspective, the teachings were clear - and, in reality, they WERE - HOWEVER, God did not allow the disciples to fully comprehend the truth even when it was staring them right in the face.  God's ways are not our ways - His thoughts are not our thoughts - He is taking each of us INDIVIDUALLY on a relational journey that centers on Him.  Just cuz we "get it" in some area of doctrine or practice, doesn't mean we can or should expect another to be in the same place on that particular issue and, more importantly, we should not stand in judgement over them.  That's like telling God He's not doing His job to our satisfaction . . .   At least, that's how I see it.

20:11-17  Nothing major here.  It's just that I've heard verse 17 presented by many and Jesus "rebuking" Mary - that word might actually be used in another version than the one I'm currently referencing - but my point is that it's sort of taught as Jesus speaking perhaps a bit harshly to Mary - with a sort of "Hey, back off" type of attitude.  I don't see this at all.  In my mind - and it's just my mind because Scripture really doesn't lay this out for us - the "rebuke" is much gentler.  I see Mary weeping, I see her in such grief she doesn't recognize her Lord (probably did not look him in the face the first time?? - v14). I see Jesus, driven by compassion, speaking the name of his beloved child and her turning, recognizing him, and enfolding him in a loving, amazed, shocked, and perhaps even desperate embrace - needing to make sure he's real and not wanting to lose him again.  I see Jesus gently taking her arms and pulling them from him - perhaps holding her hands in his in front of him as he looks her in the eyes with a smile and gently lets her know His job isn't finished yet and she needs to let Him complete it.  I think it's probably a beautiful, joyful moment.  Just my impression.

John 20:23 - this verse challenges me because of the way it is translated.  Rather than go into a long discussion of it (which is what it really needs), I will refer you for now to Dr. John MacArthur - whose teachings I trust.  His thoughts on this and the whole concept surrounding it can be found at https://www.gty.org/library/bibleqnas-library/BQ060612/peter-the-rock-of-the-church 

This actually went longer than expected :-p  and I have to head to work now so I will endeavor to do thoughts on Ch 21 this evening or tomorrow a.m. at latest.  

Till then . . . :-)