Category Archives: c. Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word

Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: Seventy years

“…For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Have you heard this verse before?  Have you clung to it when you aren’t sure what the heck is going on in your life?  Do you believe it?

Right now, Jeff and I are kinda at a crossroads in life.  The church that Jeff was leading worship at for 10 years has decided that its season was finished and closed its doors.   The MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group that I have been pouring into as it’s Prayer and Care Coordinator and now as the Coordinator of the whole group is kicking me out in May.  (OK, not really kicking me out, but unless I have another child, I graduate from the group as I am no longer a mother of a preschooler.)

We wonder how God is asking us to serve him next.  We wonder if we should be moving into full-time ministry.  If not, we wonder what I am going to do job wise when my youngest heads off to school all day next year.  We wonder how much longer our family of five will fit in our 1000 sq. foot house with one bathroom.  I wonder what I’m going to make for dinner tomorrow… We have a lot of questions about our future.

And right now, those questions aren’t being answered.  I keep praying, but I’m not hearing anything other than, “Wait.” and “Rest in me.”  (Oh, and tomorrow night have chicken and broccoli for dinner.)  Apparently it’s not time for me to know about our future yet.  I have ideas of what’s next… but not confirmation.  I have my opinions of what I’d like to come next… but I’m not sure that Hawaii really needs a new pastor and/or worship leader?  (I just watched Soul Surfer, awesome movie, and the scene where they were in church on the beach – wow, I’d love that!)

Anyway, the verse from Jeremiah is one that’s often used for encouragement… and it is encouraging.  It tells about a time when the Israelites were taken away from their promised land of Jerusalem and into exile in Babylon.  God is telling the Israelites through the prophet Jeremiah not to worry… He’s not abandoning them, He’s not forgetting about them and the promise He made to them.  But here’s the thing about Jeremiah 29:11, it follows Jeremiah 29:10, “This is what the LORD says: ‘When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.'”

Seventy years!!!!  The Israelites had to be in exile, in bondage for 70 years before God was going to rescue them.  In our immediate gratification society, we have no interest in waiting seventy minutes, let alone seventy days, let alone seventy months, let alone SEVENTY YEARS!  So although I understand that currently God is asking me to wait and rest in Him through prayer, worship, reading the Bible, and church, I am hoping that He is on a shorter time line to reveal what His plans for me are than He was with the Israelites!

♥Becki, imperfect and impatient daughter of God

Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: Dog or cat?

We have a cat, Shmoopy (remember the Seinfeld episode when Jerry and his girlfriend kept annoyingly saying, You’re the Shmoopy, No, You’re the Shmoopy).  Now, I’m not exactly a pet person… I am not opposed to having pets, it’s just that I’ve never had a pet that has brought me more enjoyment than the burden of caring for it.  (My family is trying to talk me into a dog… perhaps I’ll relent and it will finally be the animal to soften my heart towards having pets.)  See part of the problem with my cat is she pretty much ignores us all day except when she needs something, like more water, food, the litter cleaned and then she has this annoying meow and wants you to take care of her needs immediately.  So really its a relationship based on her wants and needs.

Do you remember the story of Pharoah and Moses?  God sent Moses to tell Pharaoh to free the Israelites from slavery to Egypt.  Pharoah didn’t want to, so God sent plagues of turning water to blood, frogs, gnats, flies, diseased livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and death of the firstborn.  It’s a story I know well and I’ve read several times throughout my life.

My husband, Jeff, has started rereading the Bible chronologically (in historical order).  This week he was reading this particular part about Pharaoh (found in Exodus 7-11) and something stood out to him that I thought was worth sharing with you.  After the second plague, the frogs, Pharaoh told Moses “Pray to the LORD to take the frogs away from me and my people, and I will let your people go to offer sacrifices to the LORD.”  Moses did, and God relented on the plague.  “But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron.”  This happened again with the flies, the hail, the locusts, the darkness, and even death.  While the suffering was on Pharaoh he was repentant and cried out to God.  But as soon as it let up, his heart was hardened against God.

I think that happens a lot in our life.  When life is pressing in on us through plagues of sickness, financial worries, relationship issues, death, we cry out to God.  We pray and ask God to “fix” our problems and comfort us.  This is a good thing, it’s what God wants us to do.  But the problem is that in the normal day-to-day when we don’t have “plagues” pressing in, our hearts seem to harden and we tend to ignore God.

I’m sure that God desires that we come to him all the time, thanking Him and acknowledging Him even when we don’t seem to “need” Him.  Jeff tells me that’s why I’ll like a dog better than a cat.  Dogs are loyal to people and desire to please the master.  They will sit at their master’s feet all day and wag their tails with delight when the master gives them attention.  Cats have no desire to please their master, rather they want their master to please them.  So when it comes to God, are you a dog or a cat?  Traditionally in my life I think, like Pharaoh, I’ve been a cat… I’m pressing on to be more like a dog.

… Ok, all you cat people out there… I don’t mean to offend you in any way… perhaps the analogy is a stretch, but I think you probably get the point 🙂

♥ Becki, imperfect daughter of God


Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: It’s a tomato…

“It’s an apple.”  “No, it’s a tomato.”  “Not uhh!”   “No matter what you may say or think, it IS a tomato.”  “No it’s not.  It’s an apple.”  Imperfect son number 3, my youngest, is convinced that he is NEVER wrong.  I have yet to figure out how to end a conversation like the above one.  He is definitely 100% wrong, but is 100% convinced he’s right and will not let you say otherwise.

If it were a matter of opinion, I wouldn’t care.  But he’s wrong about facts.  It would be easier if he’d let me just walk away from the conversation, but he doesn’t let it go.  He wants me to say, “You’re right, it’s an apple.”  But the thing is – it isn’t, and I don’t want to say it is just to get him to drop the conversation.  Some days it can be quite amusing, other days it can be quite frustrating.  However, it never makes me love him less.  He’s my son and I love him.  He’s wrong and I love him.

One day after one of those debates, I read Philippians again.  That time, here’s the passage that stood out to me:

“… as Christ Jesus:  Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage, rather he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!  Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father.” (2:6-11, emphasis mine)

When I read this, it is clear to me that there is no other God, no other way to God, no other truth.  Otherwise the Bible would not say that every knee would bow and every tongue acknowledge… Why would EVERY one do these things if there were other ways or other Gods?  For me to believe in the Bible and to believe in Christianity, I have to believe that all other religions are wrong.  

In America today, I know that is a very unpopular statement.  I know what most people want me to say is, “I believe in Jesus, but being a Buddhist, or Muslim, or Mormon or whatever is right for you.”  But I can’t.  Not if I truly believe what the Bible says.  For me to say that is to say that my belief in Jesus is a fraud.  To me, it’s as simple as my conversation with my son, it’s not an apple, it’s a tomato.  I believe those who think otherwise are wrong.

But… and this is a big but (as a mom of 3 boys I’m chuckling like they do at the fact that I just said big butt…) But – I never stop loving those who think differently than I do.  I hope they would never feel like I am disrespectful or unkind, and I hope that they would never stop loving me despite thinking I’m wrong.  Some of my favorite people in the world follow other religions.  We are friends, we are family, and I love them.  But, just as with Cole, I cannot say they are right.  However, I can invite them to believe in Jesus and to allow Him to be their savior as well.

If you disagree with me, and are still reading, thank you.  I have to tell you I have known for weeks that this was what I was supposed to write about on a “Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word.”  But I fought it.  It’s one thing to think the way I do, but to publicly write it on a blog knowing that many of you might disagree, well that’s a little scary.  In fact, so scary that last week I skipped Wednesday’s post.  I had no other inspiration for a different topic.  This week was the same and I knew I had to post it.  I hope you will come back on other days and continue to read what I learn through my imperfection…


Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: Speeding (but not as fast as others)

The other day as we were driving, a cop pulled out with his sirens on.  We pulled over to get out of his way and were surprised to find out that we were the ones he was coming after.  Sure, we were probably speeding, but we weren’t going as fast as all the other cars.  The “nice” police officer gave us a ticket for a lesser speed so the fine would be lower and we wouldn’t get as many points.  Our 5-year-old was in the back crying because he thought the cop was going to take us to jail, and we just kept thinking, “But we weren’t going as fast  as everyone else.”

Has that ever happened to you?  Or something similar, where you got in trouble for something, but weren’t the worst offender?

If you read last Wednesday’s post, you’ll remember that I talked about not comparing ourselves to someone better so that we don’t get frustrated.  I referred to the verse, “to the degree that we have already attained” (Philippians 3:16).  Well, I still hold to that, but then I was reading Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman (I highly recommend this book!). In it, he warned about our tendency to accept or excuse our behaviors because they are better than someone else’s: At least I’m better than that person.  (I’d love to pull a quote out for you, but I can’t find the book right now – probably because of my imperfect housekeeping skills…)

I think it’s really easy to fall into that trap of self-righteousness… last week I said not to compare because there will always be someone better than us.  This week, I’ll add to that, not to compare because there will always be someone worse than us and we might start to feel puffed up and think more highly of ourselves than we should.  “Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” (Romans 12:3, New Living Translation)

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have good self-esteem, rather it should be based on truth.  We can’t excuse behaviors or attitudes just because they may be better than someone else’s.  We were speeding, and we deserved the ticket regardless of what anyone else was doing.

Oh yeah, back to the Word.  I realized last week why Philippians 3:16 verse didn’t stand out to me before – I was reading it in another translation.  So I thought I’d share some of the different ones:

  • Only let us live up to what we have already attained. (New International Version)
  • Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule (New King James Version)
  • But we must hold on to the progress we have already made. (New Living Translation)
  • Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it. (The Message)

Lets keep our eyes on Christ and off each other and press on to live up to what we have already attained, to the degree that we have already attained, hold on to the progress we have already made, and stay on the right track!


Wednesday’s Wisdom From the Word: Going deeper

Have you ever dug a hole at the beach and tried to fill it up with water?  Recently at our trip to the beach, my boys were doing just that.  My youngest was disappointed to see the water disappear as the sand “drank” it all up.  So despite my desire to stay sand free on my beach chair, I got down on my hands and knees and taught them about digging water holes in the sand.

I told them that if we dug deep enough we’d hit water.  So we dug, and dug, and dug.  My middle one would have his upper part of his body down in the hole to reach the bottom and dig.  The sand got wetter and wetter, and then it happened… the bottom of the hole started filling up on its own with water.  I love those moments of seeing my boys with a fresh excitement over a new discovery.

Later I started thinking about God’s Word.  Anytime we open it up and read it our soul drinks it up.  And the deeper we dig into the Word, like the sand, the more we will be filled with Living Water and less likely to dry up.  I definitely see that as I’ve been digging deeper into the Bible, especially Philippians.

Here’s the living water that poured into my soul today, “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind… to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.” (3:14-16)

I’ve read Philippians all the way through everyday for 2 weeks now, and today was the first day the phrase “to the degree that we have already attained” stuck out.  It made me think of my morning run today.  I was passed by a much more seasoned in better shape runner.  Then that runner started getting further and further ahead since my speed was no match for his.  I had a moment of frustration and my self talk started going like this: “I’m in such bad shape, I’m a lousy runner, I might as well be walking, I could go faster if I was walking, I”ll never be as good of a runner as that, I might as well give up…”

Then the verse “I press toward the goal for the prize…” (3:14) popped in my head and I pressed on.  Now as I think about the verses following I realize what I also need to remember is “to the degree that we have already attained…”

As we press on, let’s not compare ourselves to others.  There will always be someone in better shape, someone more spiritual, someone who has already beaten whatever we are currently battling, someone who is a better wife, mother, worker, singer, teacher…  That shouldn’t serve to frustrate us and cause us to give up.  God isn’t comparing us to them,  He’s asking us to press on toward the goal for the prize of Christ Jesus to the degree that we have already attained.

If you haven’t yet today, I encourage you to go dig deeper in God’s word and see what living water God has for your soul…

Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: Deodorant

Last night while at Walgreens, I finally remembered to buy new deodorant. I’ve been out for several days and kept forgetting to get it.  Are you like me, do you go into a store with a mental list of 3 things, come out with 15 things but forgot 2 of the original list items?  That’s me lately.  So I was glad I remembered the deodorant… and I’m thinking those that come in contact with me are probably glad as well.

Over the past several deodorantless days I would be out somewhere and realize that I stunk – literally that stick your fingers in your armpits, take them out and smell them and nearly pass out stink.  (Remember that SNL Mary Katherine Gallegar “Superstar” character?) Anyway, are you wondering why the heck I’m sharing my stinky tale when I entitled this post “Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word”?

Most women (in America at least) wouldn’t dream of leaving their home in the morning without first putting on deodorant.  The thought of someone smelling our stink leads us to each morning rub, spray or roll on Ban, Sure or some other brand that promises to keep you smelling shower fresh all day.  Yet most of us walk out the door without any thought to our spiritual stink.

What do we do each morning to ensure that we will make good choices that day, that we will be kind and patient with the testy sales clerk or unreasonable boss, that we will have self control to not speak badly about someone, that we will not boast in ourselves, that we would encourage those around us instead of tear them down (especially our spouse and kids)?

As I’ve been reading through Philippians several times this past week, another verse has really stuck out to me: “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Philippians 2:13) I have found that when I spend time reading the Bible and praying in the morning, I’m allowing God to work in me and He really does give me the desire and the power to do what pleases him through the day.

So what pleases God?  I think the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians sums it up: to be filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  These aren’t things that come naturally to us, that’s why they are the fruit (or result) of the Spirit working in us.  That’s why God says He will give us the desire and the power to live that way.

So I’m trying to make sure to start each day with both some deodorant and some time with God.  That way I’m not so stinky (both figuratively and literally) to those around me.

Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word – Whistle Blowing

If you pick up a whistle and blow into it, what happens?  The whistle whistles. You probably don’t remember learning how to use the whistle… I certainly don’t.  But as a mom, I’ve seen each of my 3 boys learn.  Its funny but all of them had the same experience.

They would pick up the whistle, do it correctly and make a loud whistling sound.  Of course this excited a small boy immensely and they would each try to do it again.  The thing is they now knew the whistle was going to make a sound.  So they all would put the whistle into their mouth and then instead of blowing the whistle they would try to make the whistling sound on their own and not through the whistle.  It would take them awhile to once again figure out how to let the whistle do the work.

Why talk about whistle blowing?  As I’ve been thinking about pressing on, I’m reminded of the verse in the next chapter of Philippians:  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (4:13)  If I can do all things, I can definitely press on to be more healthy, to be a mom who yells less, to be a wife who encourages more, to be a homemaker who takes better care of her home and to be a Christian who loves more.  But like my boys with the whistle, I need to let the whistle (Christ) do the work.  Otherwise all my trying will result in a muted imitation blowing sound.

So how do I let Christ strengthen me so that I can do all things?  I’m still figuring all that out.  But for today, after I post this, I’m going to spend some time reading the Bible.  Since the first 2 Bible verses that I’ve used in this blog came from Philippians, I think I’ll go read all of it to see what else God has to say to me through it.

Are you letting the whistle do the work?  I’d love to hear how you do.  If not, I’d love for you to join me as we press on and more and more allow Christ to strengthen us.