COME

"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD...He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." Micah 4:2

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Little is Much when God is in it...


Sometimes, the very things we think are simple and mundane daily chores are what actually influence others. It is often the little things that give God’s people godly influence. 
In the novel, Miriam by Mesu Andrews, I read of a wonderful biblical heroine who was constantly helping the sick and wounded. She cared for her elderly parents, meeting their physical needs, encouraging moments of victory when defeat was inevitable, and soothing their decaying bodies during tough times. All the household tasks of daily activities fell to Miriam, and she did them naturally, discretely, and with much love and care for her family.

She was a kind neighbor who constantly looked for ways to bless, lift up, encourage, point others to her God, "El Shaddai". As her people, the Hebrews, lived and served the Egyptians, cultural practices caused her to caution them in correction or instruction so they would remain faithful to their God. She spent quality time with younger ones trying to mentor their hearts toward the God. She initiated conversations to help loved ones see the effect of their choices. She did all these little things as naturally as breathing, loving the inner relationship she shared with her precious God. 
Unfortunately, at sometime, she had been convinced that her worth was found in the big things. She held tightly to El Shaddai’s as hers alone. She believed her position gave her prestige over others because He had chosen her. She believed only big splashes of visions and dreams had the power to influence people. Elevated importance was hers because El Shaddai spoke to her alone. She proudly held herself aloof as one who could physically “feel” the Presence of God. 

Anyone could do the "little things" in chores, meals, laundry, shopping, and even visiting neighbors. Because her heart was tuned only to the big things, she needed to learn that “little is much when God is in it”.
Author, Mesu Andrews, did an excellent job in dialogue. Miriam had several with other characters showing her influence and love. Also, the thoughts Miriam secretly verbalized to the readers were questions many face in their daily routines.  
I enjoyed the heart provoking "God-silences" Miriam experienced and her searching for what “used to be” as she struggled to accept the newness freedom offered.

El Shaddai demonstrating his love in tangible ways to her, teaching her little by little to accept His perfect Way caused me to marvel at the mercy and grace we experience from our loving God. He patiently showed her to accept every touch from Him as big and purposeful for His glory and as his daughter, she was worthy.

As she grew in her understanding of Yahweh, Miriam learned to “feel” the Presence of God in the people of God, the servant of God, a brother, a good friend, and even the younger followers. Her heart began to recognize God’s love for her came through the work He did in others.
Throughout the transition from slavery to freedom, Miriam is challenged to consider Yahweh from other people’s perspective. Her God moved her from visions/dreams to listening to His spoken word through the mouth of her brothers, Moses and Aaron. By choosing Moses to lead, with Aaron in second command, Miriam learned vital life lessons of God's greatness, and how He is working in the lives of others to grow faith. She learned to accept their intimacy with Almighty God and to follow behind when they were given commands to move forward.  
And finally, Miriam learned the vital role God asked. She was to work together with other servants of the living God in order to bring His people to the Promise Land.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sharing Her God

I'm so excited to be a part of this scavenger hunt blog hop in celebration of the launch of Mesu Andrews' second book in her Treasures of the Nile series, Miriam!
Miriam Scavenger Hunt Blog Hop
I realize most of you are probably already "on the hunt", but if you just happened on this page first, you'll want to hop on over to the start of the hunt at Mesu’s blog and then you'll finish your journey at Mommynificent.com. At the bottom of this post, you can find the full list of stops for the entire hunt. Between March 15th and 20th, click on the next link, head over to the page, meet a new book-lover, and read their thoughts about Miriam. Somewhere in each post there will be a single word that is in BOLD AND ALL CAPITALS. Write it down. (The words “Home” and “Good Luck” are not secret words for anyone.)
Then, go to the next stop. That post will also have a word that’s bolded and capitalized. You will need to visit all 14 blogs as each one will have a word that you need. Once you reach the end and have found all the words, you will have found an inspirational quote from the book Miriam. There are 14 words in this quote. Enter the quote into the Rafflecopter on the last stop and you will be entered to win a Kindle Fire from Mesu Andrews! (Open to U.S. residents only)

If you have any questions, get lost, or experience any technical difficulties, you may email Tina at tina{at}mommynificent{dot}com for help.

Now, let's talk about this fantastic book!
Miriam by Mesu Andrews

About the Book

Title: Miriam
Author: Mesu Andrews
Series: Treasures of the Nile, Book 2
Publication Date: March 15, 2016
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Print Length: 384 pages
Summary from the publisher: At eighty-six, Miriam had devoted her entire life to loving El Shaddai and serving His people as both midwife and messenger. Yet when her brother Moses returns to Egypt from exile, he brings a disruptive message. God has a new name – Yahweh – and has declared a radical deliverance for the Israelites.
Miriam and her beloved family face an impossible choice: cling to familiar bondage or embrace uncharted freedom at an unimaginable cost. Even if the Hebrews survive the plagues set to turn the Nile to blood and unleash a maelstrom of frogs and locusts, can they weather the resulting fury of the Pharaoh?

Enter an exotic land where a cruel Pharaoh reigns, pagan priests wield black arts, and the Israelites cry out to a God they only think they know.

My Thoughts about Miriam by Mesu Andrews

One of Mesu Andrew's best!
For pleasant leisure, I often choose biblical fiction. I love to consider biblical facts from another person's perspective, and seeing the research behind this book reveals Mesu Andrew's love for truth. I desire to continue growing spiritually and through this underlying base for her books, I find Mesu on this same pilgrimage.

In Miriam, I felt drawn numerous times into the inner thoughts of a biblical heroine who desired to closely follow her God, yet constantly tried to edit through prayer how she thought His WILL should work on behalf of His people, Israel. 

Throughout the transition from slavery to freedom, Miriam is challenged to consider Yahweh from other people’s relationships with Him and His personal call on their lives. Over her lifetime, she had become comfortable loving El Shaddai, yet now God had introduced himself to her brother, Moses, as Yahweh, a God of action and promise. Instead of an inner secret love relationship with her God that commanded others to respect her, God was now speaking through actions that were terrifying and conflicting with her envisioned love. Besides struggling with God's plan through other servants, she also grappled with the belief that He was asking too much of them. 
As she grew in her understanding of Yahweh, Miriam learned to “share” in a whole new way what living in His Presence really meant. For her own spiritual development, she opened her heart to share her God with others, a new leader and servant of God, a brother, a good friend, and even the younger followers. Her heart began to open to God’s love for her through these which helped her begin to accept His power and miracles as a bigger God than she had imagined. Gratitude filled her heart as she learned to appreciate the work He did in others.

So, she may have gained prestige as the first prophetess in Israel, speaking for God through visions or dreams, but she finally realized Yahweh had chosen a path of submission and obedience which would outwardly reflect her love for Him.

Although a character in ancient Israel's history, Miriam speaks today to those who are on their own spiritual pilgrimage from sin slavery to the freedom in Christ.

About The Author

Author Mesu AndrewsMesu Andrews is the award-winning author of Love Amid the Ashes, Love's Sacred Song, Love in a Broken Vessel, In the Shadow of Jezebel, as well as two books in her Treasures of the Nile series: The Pharoah's Daughter and Miriam. Winner of the 2012 ECPA Christian Book Award for New Author, she has devoted herself to passionate and intense study of Scripture, bringing the biblical world vividly alive for her readers. She lives in Washington.

Mesu's Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Stops on the Scavenger Hunt

  1. Mesu Andrews
  2. A Holland Reads
  3. Mother of Three
  4. Just A Second
  5. Grace and Glory
  6. Angela Arndt - Joy on the Back Roads
  7. God's Peculiar Treasure Rae
  8. What If
  9. Carole Towriss
  10. Kate Hodges, Storyteller
  11. Backing Books
  12. Creative Madness Mama
  13. Climbing to the High Calling
  14. Mommynificent

Win Both Treasure of the Nile Books

WaterBrook Press has given me permission to give away one copy of each of Mesu's Treasures of the Nile novels to one lucky winner so to enter to win your own copies of both The Pharoah's Daughter and Miriam, all you have to do is leave a comment below. (Open to U.S. residents only.)

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Fully convinced that He is ABLE...

"I know whom I have believed and I'm persuaded that HE is able..."
Am I truly persuaded?
Is my God ABLE?
In a culture that constantly ambushes my mustard seed faith - 


Scripture declares...
1. He is able to DO MORE than you ask or imagine. (Eph 3:20)
2. He is able to MAKE all grace ABOUND to you (2 Cor 9:8)
3. He is able to HELP them who are being tempted (Heb 2:18)
4. He is able to SAVE them who draw near to God through Jesus Christ (Heb 7:21)
5. He is able to KEEP you from stumbling & (He is able to) present you faultless (Jude 24)
6. He is able to GUARD what has been entrusted (2 Tim 2:12)
7. He is able to BRING everything under His control & by that same power 
               transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body (Phil 3:21)
As I edited this post, a friend posted this on FB as her
"unofficial life verse"

Jesus asks...
"Do you believe I AM ABLE to do this?"
                        Yes, LORD!
"According to your faith will it be done to you."   (Matt 9:28-29)

I love when the Holy Spirit uses someone to affirm what He just pointed out to me from Scriptures!

Just look at this verse...(Thank you for putting this on FB today, Mandy!)

Wished you were strong in your faith?
"GIVE GLORY to GOD!!

"AND his faith grew stronger as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that HE is ABLE to do what HE had promised." Rom 4:20-21

and I sing...
"To God be the glory, great things He has done! 
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son. 
Who yielded His Life an atonement for sin, 
And opened the life gate that all may go in!

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,      
to every believer the promise of God;                   
the vilest offender who truly believes,
that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Great things he has taught us! Great things He has done! And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son. But purer and higher and greater will be our wonder, our transport when Jesus we see! 


Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Delight to show MERCY

There are so many verses in the Psalms that speaks of David's delight in the Lord...
We're instructed to delight in the Lord (Ps 37:4, 11, 23; 40:8) and delight in His Way. (Ps 37:23), and delight in his Word (Jer 15:16).

And although, we often think we're doing just that because we love Him, there are too many times when joy or delight seem lacking.
We often feel the weight of life's burdens, conflicts, suffering, seriousness, and even lack of godly knowledge causing weariness to outweigh our delight.
Our focus becomes blurry when we try to "set your mind on things above" because we're too busy, or working hard without relying on His Power. Even allowing our hearts to break over the things that break the heart of God can rob us of His delight if those things take our eyes off our Savior.
We struggle with the cares of others around us.
We rise up in anger at injustice and corruption.
We yell our opinions and demand our way.
We look for ways to comfort and ease pain. We try to fix everything and be in charge.
We want to look good.
We're concerned with actions and choices made by others that affect us and our loves.

So, this month, wanting my spirit to wallow in His delight, I began praying...

"Lord, turn my heart to delight in YOU.  
Please fill me with your delight! 
Let me experience 'fullness of JOY in your Presence!"
(I really believed God would fill my life with so many good things that it could only be a delight to awaken each day! I looked for pleasant times and hung out with the lovely. I constantly checked my 'thankfulness'...but,
Unfortunately, I kept being ambushed by the hard, tough times, and the ugly.
I was a little confused.

What was hindering this wonderful desire in me? Wouldn't God be pleased to do this for me?
Why was finding delight so hard?)

This morning, my devotional time led me to Micah 7:18-19
"Who is a God like YOU, who pardons sins and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? YOU do not stay angry forever but DELIGHT to show MERCY."

And me? 
Am I imitating the likeness of Christ as God has purposed for me...
"to be conformed to the image of his Son..." (Rm 8:29)
I began looking for any occasion to show mercy. I concluded that if I truly wanted to delight in the Lord...I needed to allow His Holy Spirit to conform me...to be like Him.
And he just declared "I delight to show Mercy". (Micah 3:18)
Now, I'm smiling as I reflect on my day and found little pieces of given mercy gave me pleasure. 
Whether it was filling my FB opinions with grace, 
texting with friends, or just greeting strangers and store clerks,  
I realize showing Mercy is quite the delight!

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Miriam Scavenger Hunt Rules


I have the privilege of being a part of the launch team for Mesu Andrews' newest book, Miriam, the second installment in her Treasures of the Nile series. Several of us on the team decided to get together and have a scavenger hunt and giveaway to celebrate the book's release. We want to invite you to be a part of the fun next week!

Miriam Scavenger Hunt Blog Hop

From 1am Eastern (US) time on March 15th, the book's release date, until 11:59pm on March 20th, there will be a scavenger hunt with stops on 14 different blogs!

You'll start at Mesu's blog and finish your journey at Mommynificent.com. At the end of each post, you’ll find links to all of the stops in the hunt. Between March 15th and 20th, click on the next link, head over to the page, meet a new book-lover, and read their thoughts about this fantastic book. Somewhere in each post there will be a single word that is in BOLD AND ALL CAPITALS. Write it down. (The words "Home" and "Good Luck" are not secret words for anyone.)

Then, go to the next stop. That post will also have a word that’s bolded and capitalized. You will need to visit all 14 blogs as each one will have a word that you need.

Once you reach the end and have found all the words, you will have found an inspirational quote from the book Miriam. There are 14 words in this quote. Enter the quote into the Rafflecopter on the last stop and you will be entered to win a Kindle Fire from Mesu Andrews!

In addition, each blogger will be running their own giveaway of a set of paperbacks of Mesu's two Treasures of the Nile books - The Pharaoh's Daughter and Miriam!

If you have any questions, get lost, or experience any technical difficulties, you may email Tina at tina{at}mommynificent{dot}com for help.

Good luck and have lots of fun!

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Higher Ground

We left our favorite tropical island and headed north to a mountain resort in SE Asia to spend a week with like-minded people needing refreshment and relaxation.

Join the group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/989210794470089/
My time has been sweet, although alone most of the time. I'm along for this journey as grandmother and staff wife.
I'm able to tend a sleeping baby by sitting quietly on the patio and then, finish the morning strolling through a Botanical Garden waiting for baby's mom to return from class.
All this quiet time in the Creator's beauty gives me time for special reflections on passages read in the Daily Light on the Daily Path, a devotional I chose for 2016.
"And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit..." Eph 1:13 and also, Col 1:27
Not only did his mercy forgive my sins on a cross, He also INCLUDED me in Christ and MARKED me in Him with a seal....
forever.
I am never alone.
I am in Christ.

I serve an awesome living God who calls me by name!

So now, I sit on a patio overlooking an in-ground pool which is much too cold for my preferences. It has a gorgeous setting of red-necked palm trees and tropical floral bushes combined with the reflection of the light blue sky dancing on it's surface. A soft breeze moves the wisps of hair around my face, and the red sweatshirt is just enough to ward off the morning chill.
I find such peace in this solace and enjoy such sweet fellowship in His Presence!

Our pilgrims' manual reminded me of our reason for ministry...God's mercy. We're simply here by His mercy to "lift feeble hands in praise, strengthen weak knees in prayer and encourage fearful hearts in practice" (Words in italics are my outline)

I have the wonderful ministry of sharing God's mercy!1 Peter 1:3ff
Relishing His Presence constantly and studying his Word, I'm renewed and refreshed, ready to go and encourage others..."Thus says the LORD, "Let your hands be strong, you who ...have been hearing these words of the prophets..." Zech 8:9

Deep in this thought, I gazed toward the horizon just in time to see a balloon lifted into the sky. It tugged at my homeward bound heart, causing me to look higher to the clouds. Not only has my Living God given me mercy, and sealed me with His Promise, He has also given me a blessed Hope of even Higher Ground, seated with Him in the heavens. Ephesians 2:6

So, we may have traveled to higher ground where the air is cooler and humidity lighter, but my heart also recognized my
longing to an even higher calling.
I'm still pressing on to "Higher Ground"...

My voice lifts in praise, filling tropical beauty
Someday soon...Luke 21:27
with the melody...
I'm pressing up to higher ground
New heights of joy in Him are found
Still praying as I'm homeward bound
Lord, plant my feet on Higher Ground.

Lord, lift me up and help me stand
By faith on Heavens table land
No higher plain than I have found
Lord, plant my feet on Higher Ground.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

As the Eagle...

In a desert land God found him [Jacob]. in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions. 
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Praise erupts and we chirp like baby birds when all our "needs" are met, keeping us snug and warm, well-fed, comfortably providing for without any effort of our own. Born desperate into a barren and howling wasteland, we weakly thank God for his Son's rescue, but determinedly live as going it alone, making our own choices. We seldom consider His continued loving involvement, especially in mundane daily activities. We never would admit it, but secretly, we think we deserve happiness. We're unable to see happiness is really based on feathers not being ruffled.
We like being safe, not now so much, but for that far away future.

But these words captured my thoughts...
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As an eagle stirs up its nest - - - to make its young test strength of wings.
hovers over its young --- constant & loving daily, moment by moment care
spreads its wings to catch them --- knows their weakness and learning skill level
carries them on its pinions --- carries them on HIS own strength

LORD! Have you stirred the nest in my life to encourage me to fly? To strengthen my faith?
Because of your promise, I know I'm forever in your Presence. I love the idea that you are hovering nearby, guarding me as the apple of your eye, but are you also challenging my faith to action by stirring the nest?

These thoughts are too wonderful for me to grasp! You stir up my nest! Your Word just revealed to me what is so often pushed away by whining and complaining over a circumstance. You want me to know it is YOU caring for me, stirring and testing me when my comforts are
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stirred up. Each little conflict, hurt, decision, circumstance, relationship is really you as you teach me to fly!
Do I believe?
Is my faith genuine?
How trusting is my faith?

I get a little nervous when the nest shakes! But, You have my attention, Lord...show me. Use other passages to affirm your Word in me!

"...for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." Jms 1:3 
James wrote of this nest stirring as a testing of faith. He believed it would strengthen the resolve of our faith, solidifying our stand and moving us toward maturity.
Could this actually read..."there must be a stirring of the nest as you learn to stand stronger?

Peter says not to be surprised when the nest shakes..."Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you (stirring your nest) to test you, as though something strange was happening to you...after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, (hovering nearly) who (shakes the nest) has called you to his eternal glory in Christ will HIMSELF restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you".(as you feel the mighty everlasting wings lift you up on His pinions) 1 Peter 4;1;, 5:9

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul tells us that we can help with God's stirring by "truly judging ourselves",  exercising personal discipline in training for godliness1 Tim 4
And there are so many other passages on this strengthening of wings...

I picture a little eaglet perched on the edge of the nest as it rocks and teeters. He squawks his complaints and flaps little wings in disgust, nervously glancing at the height of the drop, the open space; focused on the fall, and so many other issues. He longs for comfort, the strength of larger wings, the snugness of a stable home, so, he grips more securely to the nest's temporary straw rim and squawks again, even louder!
Where is the love he has experienced in the past?
Where is that constant care that he commonly felt at his littlest peep?

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Eagles live in barren, deserted high rises of rocks, but can you imagine a community of nests, all squawking their advice, and sometimes even condemnation?
All knowing how to fly best, which direction to head, the take-off and speed of wing flapping, the reason to fly and definitely, where an eaglet should land.
Maybe all are so engrossed in planning or giving advice, habitually squawking...they just do not see,
or simply forget
there is One who is hovering nearby.

Eagle-life...
Who is the One who chose the day to fly?
Is it One's prerogative to stir a nest?
Do we believe One is hovering nearby, as we tentatively flap our wings?
Are we willing to attempt One's call to fly?
Do we look to One's instruction as we step up to the stirring and challenge?

When we experience a "stirred up nest", to whom do we listen ?
Jude warns us to in these last days..."I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend the faith...for certain people have crept in unnoticed..."

My open Bible greets each day
Dearest Lord! You are my Guard!
I know you are hovering over my stirred up nest.
I'm trusting your hovering.

I'm flapping...flying...falling...

Ahhh...
Your wings are trustworthy and powerful, so ready to swoop down and catch me, carrying me on your pinions!

As I focused on these verses, others came to mind and I realized My Lord's purpose when the nest stirs and faith is tested...
He is conforming me to be in the image of His Son!

And someday, I will soar as an eagle...
"They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint..." Isa 40:31
God never moves without purpose or plan
when trying his servant and molding a man
My father know best and I'll trust in his care
Through purging more fruit I will bear...  [Rejoice in the LORD by Ron Hamilton]

It's such an adventure to flap, free fall, feel the strength of Mighty wings, and then, try again!
I'm learning to fly...to mount up with wings like eagles!!
I'm learning to enjoy this stirring, because my Loving Father is faithfully teaching me to trust Him!