God never changes?

In my journey through life I have had many ask me, “Did God change when Jesus came? Is God the same yesterday today and forever?” I hope You and I discover some insight on this question. Just some thoughts on the matter.

God of the Old Testament

What was God like in the old testament? We see him in the book of Genesis as the creator. He brings life out of nothing. With one word light burst forth. With his breath he breathes life into Adam. We move on to the next few book and find he is watching searching to and fro to find those who have a good heart. He picks the lowly of men to do amazing things.

He gives the law to help men continue to do what is right.He gave the 10 commandments to show man how to avoid many trials. He knows are hearts and he knows what can cause us to stumble so by giving us the law it would help keep us focused onto what is right. but knowing that it is hard to keep he gave us a way to be forgiven of these sins that we did.

This sacrificial system would help us to be holy as God is holy. He gives us free will to choose to do what is right but we fail sometimes. We are not perfect people. we need a sacrifice for our sins. whether it is for a lie or cheating or coveting we break one we break them all. So the sacrificial system was set up to cover our sins with the obedient sacrifice of a animal. But God knew this would not do. (Note: i believe he allowed man to do this sacrificial system for years, for this purpose, to show how much more important it is, that Jesus came to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.)

As we move on into the the reign of Kings, we see Him as a loving protective God. He goes before the Israelite. However when they sinned he would be like a loving fathers discipline them just so they would see how much they needed him. He looks at the heart. But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7. He wanted them to root out all the evil in the land. but Israels lack of obedience often was their demise .

Then Samuel said, “Is the LORD as delighted with burnt offerings and sacrifices as he would be with your obedience? To follow instructions is better than to sacrifice. 1 Samuel 15:22

Then we go through the prophets and God is again trying to help his people. He gives warning through his messengers. He try to show Israel how much he loves them. And showing them that with out him they will be ruined.

What a good God he is. True, he caused Israel to go to war. But for the sole purpose to keep them from sin. God just asks for obedience. But we fail. So, to show us that he still loves us, more than anything, he sent Jesus to be our way of salvation. He knows we can not live holy with out the atoning sacrifice of Jesus.

God of the New Testament.

In the new testament we read that God loves the world so much that he sacrifices his son to redeem man of its sin. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.…” John 3:16,17 God comes down in flesh (which..this can be hard to wrap your mind around. However, this topic will be for another time) He walks among us teaching us how to live life. How to forgive, how to love, how to pray, how to be children of God.

As we move into the book of Acts, we see he comes as a comforter and guide. He is a counselor never leaving us always guiding us. (note: similar to that of the pillar of fire by night and cloud by day. He was guiding the Israelite’s into the promise land)

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; ” John 14:16

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. John 14:26

Friends, this is not at all different from who he is in the old testament.

He is the same yesterday to day and forever. He has not changed. He is a good father. He disciplines us when we go wandering away into sin. He offers a way out. He counsels us through his word. Guides us through his Holy Spirit. He offers us hope and salvation. If you compare the old and new testaments, you will see, nothing has changed. God loves us so much. True, Jesus came SHOWING the love of the Father. This is so ALL could see. Not just the Jew, but for everyone. Once again, we hear “oh, how he loves us”

Read his love story. Study His word for yourself. You will see that this is true. Many skim over the bible and don’t take the time to listen to what God is saying to them. His love is great, his love is wide, his love is deep. He wants us to live this life in abundance

Malachi 3:6-7

Psalm 102:28

John 1

Hebrews 1

Hebrews 6:16-18

 

This shows us  that He has always been, He always is and always will be. He remembers his promises. His character never changes. God NEVER changes!

I keep coming back to You

What is it that You do that keeps me coming back to You? Why do I feel this way about You? Is it Your unfailing love? Is it the fact that You forgive me every time I mess up? Is it for every time I feel down I know You are there for me?

I am broken and You seem to always comfort me. When I am sad, You always cheer me up. When I am angry You calm me down. Why do I keep coming back to You?

I have never met anyone like You. You see my thoughts. You know me well. How can this be? I feel so far from You at times and other times I feel You are so near. I know You have my heart. You are my everything. I keep coming back to You.

I pray that everyone could feel this Love that I feel. No one else will do. I know I need You. I know I desire You. You satisfy my deepest longings. How can this be that I keep coming back to You?

I sit in the silence, I hear Your whispers. My lover You are to me. So intimate so sweet are your words. You Silence my fears my worries. Peace, Your Peace rushes over me. My heart feels full and complete in You. Nothing else matters. That is why I keep coming back to You.

I was meant for You. And You are mine.

I keep coming back to You.

“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away.” Song of Solomon 8:6-7

There is always Hope!

fall winter 2015-2016 099

For those of you who may not know, My daughter Kaila has spina bifida or Hydrocephalus. The doctors discovered this when I was about four months pregnant. Talk about a blow. I was so excited that I was going to have a little girl, yet, on that same day I found out this devastating information. We knew that when we picked her name it had to be one that would glorify God. We knew that God had this. Kaila means : “Who is like God?” and “Laurel Crown”

Hydrocephalus is having extra fluid in her brain/head that should not be there. But, as you will read, God has been doing some amazing things despite all of this. Her name seems to be given by God and proves to me, that God has a plan. A plan to prove to those who know her that, “There is no one like my God!”

Being a christian, I knew exactly what I was going to do. Take it to the Lord in prayer. I told the family the good and bad news of the whole situation. They prayed. Everyone prayed. Prayers from all the churches that my extended family attended to my own personal church.

When Kaila came on March 30, 2011 the doctor noticed a hole in her back. So, the next day she was sent to St Louis Jewish Barnes Hospital to have her back stitched up. They discovered that her lower spine had been damaged. We soon found out that this meant she couldn’t walk and part of the damage was she would have to be catheterized four times a day. The extent of it was that she had nerve damage in her legs and the tendons in her ankles were not normal. One foot was so lose and flexible and the other one was so tight that her foot was hyper-extended. After a week in the NICU she was sent home.

Funny story, so this isn’t so heavy. I had been in the dark NICU room for a week. Rarely seeing sunlight. While there some women had asked if i wanted to scrap book, as a way to get a breather from everything that was going on. I was in the sun lit room no longer than ten minutes, when my eyes, which had been use to low light, started dilating. I could not see at all what i was scrap-booking. It was awful yet funny at the same time. I said to the ladies, “I can’t see! I cant even see what I am sticking onto the paper here” But after returning back to the dark room I was able to see again.  (There could be a lesson there)

We eventually went home, but a week in half later I noticed the stitching on her back was seeping fluid. That was a very scary thing to see. So, we went back to St Louis(which was a three hour drive..lots of gas money being spent) They put a shunt in her head that wraps around her right ear down the front of her chest to drain into her stomach. As I held my screaming baby infant right out of surgery I thought, “My poor little baby.There is nothing I can do for you” I felt helpless and, honestly, a little hopeless. Three incisions in her tiny body. It was a horrible thing to go through. Yet, through it all God comforted me.

The last 5 years have consisted of therapist and doctor visits, Braces and walkers and now canes. The therapist have noticed that she has been improving rather quickly. Here Is why…PRAYER.

Every time Kaila goes to visit my parents my father takes her into his big strong arms and whispers prayers in her ears. Every time we get a chance we take her down to the alter for prayer. The church gathers around and prays. I have so many friends and family praying. It truly is overwhelming. Being part of a faith were there is such care and love. Being a part of a faith that tells me God is not dead. If He can heal back then He can heal today. That if we put our hands on someone they will recover in Jesus Name!  It isn’t our power it is the power of what Christ Jesus did on the cross and in His resurrection.

I wanted to share this all with you, which there is so much more I could share to give God even more glory. I wanted to share that here recently, Kaila has been doing things that, I believe, means God is not done yet. A few months back, she had been taking a few steps with her braces on and without the assistance of her canes. Here in 2017 her walking is almost normal. she still needs the braces and canes. But, her dependency on them have been few and far between. I know God has put a determination in her. She pushes herself.

Through this all her faith has been growing. When she was four she would say, “Jesus is healing me!” She knows it! Not only is her faith building but, her brother and sisters faith is growing. They get excited and say, “mommy did you see that!? Kaila is walking!” God is doing a work in all our lives through this.

See God has perfect timing too. He knew that Kaila needed a sister to challenge her. If I had not had Emily almost 18 months later, I could have ended up babying Kaila. Meaning, I could have hindered her by always being around to catch her. But, by Gods divine plan, the fact that we had Emily when we did was perfect timing. This forced Kaila to do things on her own. Now that the girls are older, Emily has helped her big sister out so much. They challenge each other in many ways. And Emily is always there to help Kaila with her braces, canes, and even getting dressed. God knew we needed Emily. He knew Kaila needed Emily.

I want to encourage you too. Keep praying. Jesus said keeping knocking and whatever you ask in my name it will be given. The answer may not always be how we want it,  but don’t lose hope! They say “where life is, there is hope.” Jesus brings life. He brings Hope.

I know my next blog will say..”she doesn’t need braces or canes, I dont have to cath her, and they are removing the shunt.” Yes! I believe that my God who can make the lame walk and the blind see, my God who raised people from the dead can heal Kaila completely.

There is always hope!

(If you have any question about this or would like to pray with us please contact me. More prayers are welcomed. A special thank you to my dear friends and family that are continually praying with us. I am so blessed to have your support, encouragement and prayers!!)

 

Whats in a Name?

Our name makes us who we are.

If I shared my name, what do you immediately think? (hopefully all good things) Parents will choose names based on past people they knew with that name. Certain names or titles have great respect like that of presidents, historical figures, celebrities, a best friend or that family member that was a role model, etc. While others denotes traitors, blasphemers, thieves, liars, murders, that class mate that stalked you, or the family member you are embarrassed of, etc.

Juliet, in the play “Romeo and Juliet” by Williams Shakespeare, asks the question.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet.”

What does she mean? We are defined by our names. The two families were fighting each other for years. If you belong to one family they knew to hate you. All because of the name. (How sad.)

Then we have instances where taking someones name can be the best thing in the world. Because you know that you belong to them. You want to belong to them. When a man and a women get married, it is custom for the woman to take the Mans last name. She is “so in love with him” that she wants to be apart of him and willing to take his name.

 

Representing a name

As a child my father would often say, “Ericka you are representing my name. What you do will be forever be associated with your name. Our name.” So, “make a good name for yourself”(or something of that nature). How often I would introduce myself to pastors or leaders in the church or others churches and say…”My fathers is …” and people could immediately associate either me with good thoughts or bad.(always it would be the good associations). Whether, it is representing the family name for you father or mother, or representing it for yourself…

When people hear your name how do they respond?

 

We know there is power in name.

If you are a Christian, you have no doubt-ably, read scripture about the name of God. Scripture says,

11“He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone. 12“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. acts 4:11-12

God has many names, we know this from scripture.

        

Of course at the name of Jesus..

9For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11

One day the world will know His name. His great and powerful name. I hope you know that name well.

Significance of names

In bible times, people would name their children based on an event in their life or if God told them specifically to name their son that name. We think God is not in control? HE is! Take a look at any story in the old testament. Look at the meaning behind the name of the city or the name of the person or the King. Almost always the meaning behind that name is significant to the story that it is in. So, we think HE DOES NOT KNOW US! He does.

  • Joshua, the man the led Israel into the land the promise land, His name means YHWH IS SALVATION and look at what he did.
  • Daniel means: God is my judge, you can find his story and how he lived up to that name in the very book he wrote.
  • Elijah:God is YHWH, and there again look what God did through that prophet. How about new testament men.
  • Peter: rock or mountain. We know that Jesus even called Peter the rock which he would build his church on.
  • Paul: small or humble. Though he was bold for the lord, he knew he was the cheifiest of sinners. he knew he was not perfect and he felt honored that God of the universe choose him.
  • Bethlehem: house of bread. Who came from Bethlehem..the bread of life. Jesus.

HE KNOWS MY NAME!

A song comes to mind:

If you are like me you feel honored when someone remembers your name. Or when someone specifically addresses you by your name. One thing I have always liked when someone comes up to me or when I get that phone call or text and they specifically say my name like, “Good morning Ericka or How are you Ericka” they are concerned with me and want to put all their attention on me(I guess that means I need attention?) But the point is, we have their attention and they have ours when our name is said.

We all know that when mom says all three names that means business. (It’s okay to laugh) She knows our name when it counts! Its a signal to us that we are in for it. No one else will be punished but only the name our mother yelled out! All of a sudden your name is important. But,…in a bad way.

Then, we hear our name in an affectionate way. How we melt when we hear “I love you Ericka”. That means, no one else will do. It means, “no other name means more to me than you. You have all my attention and love”. It is a good feeling, especially, when you are being goofy together and you hear them say, while laughing with you, “I love you Ericka”. That means, “no matter what..it is YOU, that I adore. (my sappy feelings I know)

Yet, to Hear Him say your name. Nothing else will be like it. One early morning I was laying in bed wide awake. No one was up. I hear this voice that sounded like my father. But he was still in bed. I thought immediately, of the story from  the book of 1 Samuel 3. So, if you know the story, I answered “yes Lord?” There is nothing like that feeling knowing that…He called me in the quiet of the morning to speak to me…specifically.

He knows my name. He doesn’t make mistakes. HE knows what we CAN become. You may feel that you are a nobody, that you were a mistake, that you will never amount to anything. REMEMBER THIS: the creator of the universe knows your name. He loves you with an everlasting love. He has plans to prosper you.

“13For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. 14I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.…” Psalm 139:13-14

“15My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; 16Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. 17How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!…”Psalm 139:15-17

I know that my name is:

Child of the One true King