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Beautiful, Beloved, Without Blame

With God, we can find our real identity. I have seen women move from lives of sorrow to lives of joy when they open their hearts to receive his love and forgiveness. In him they were truly remade. They tossed away any labels the enemy had them believing and raised their eyes to the Lord for a true picture of they are!

Scripture has a lot to say about who we are in Christ, and when we dig in to find the truth, we can expose the lies that we believed about who we are. Just look what scripture says about who you are in Christ.

❤️God loves you…”But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved)” Eph 2:4-5 NLT

❤️ You are God‘s masterpiece...”For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do good things he planned for us long ago”. Eph 2:10 NLT. God created you and has a plan for you. You need to understand that, no matter what lies you have believed. God sees you as his beloved daughter.

❤️ You are without blame… “Even before he made the world, God loved us and shows us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes” Eph 1:4 NLT.   When you allow God to erase the lies you carry from your past you will begin to see yourself as He sees you…without blame.

I hope you let the truth of those scriptures sink in. You are beautiful, beloved and without blame.

Have a Simply Blessed day.

 

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Woman to Woman…Rahab

Welcome back to the Woman to Woman series.  So far we have looked at Abigail and now we are making our way through the women of Matthew 1. This week we are looking at the second woman in Matthew 1, Rahab, who unlike Tamar she was actually a prostitute.

Her story begins in the book of Joshua. Joshua sent two men secretly to go and view the land, especially Jericho. When they got to the city they came to the house of Rahab and they lodged with her. The King of Jericho came to her house and told Rahab to bring the men out who had entered her home. Rahab told the king that the men were there but they had left and that if he hurried, he would find them and over take them.

After the king and his men left Rahab who was hiding the men says,

 I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt”. Joshua 2:9

Rahab knew this God they served. She acknowledged what He could do and that He was the one true God. That was a statement of her faith in God. I love her boldness in what she says next. She says, “Because I have dealt kindly with you, please deal kindly with me”. She then goes on to ask that they would save her family. They make an oath with her and tell her that when they come back to the land, no harm will come to her or her family as long as they do not leave her house.

In order to leave without being caught, the men lower themselves with a rope through the window. Not just any rope, a red rope or a scarlet cord. It was a symbol of her lifestyle, a glaring reflection of her sin for all to see. Ever heard of the red-light-district? It has the same meaning. With the cord that showed her sin, she saved the men of God.

Before they left the men told her to gather her family into her house and when they came into the land to hang the scarlet cord in her window. In a class I took at Portland Bible College, my professor mentioned that she had to go and get her family. He pointed out that they most likely did not associate with her. Still, she cared so much for them she risked her life to save them.

The cord and her faith in whom God would save not only her, but her whole family. I don’t think it is a coincidence that the cord that saved her is the same color as the blood that saves us.

Rahab was a Gentile and a prostitute but she was credited for her faith. 

By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. Hebrews 11:31

Besides being an example of what it means to have faith, Rahab is also the perfect example of God’s love being big enough to forgive our sin no matter what it is. It is my hope that you too will have the faith of Rahab and that you will always remember that God is so much bigger than the mistakes you may have made. When we leave our past in the past and put our faith in God we will find forgiveness and a new beginning.

Rahab would in time marry Solomon. They had a son named Boaz. Boaz would become the kinsman redeemer in the life of the woman we will look at next week. Her name is Ruth. To read Rahab’s whole story read Joshua 2

Shares are welcomed and I would love to hear your thoughts on todays’ post. 

For more daily encouragement and Heartfelt Ramblings order you copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel and christianbooks.com

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Woman to Woman…Tamar

Tamar, the is 1st woman listed in Matthew:1 (The Genealogy of Jesus). Tamar was the daughter-in-law of Judah. She was married to his oldest Son Er who was evil in the sight of God and put to death. By Levirate rights/law Er’s brother Onan must take her for a wife and once again she finds herself treated in a disrespectful way.

Levitate Rights: Tamar Had these rights but was not allowed to claim them for herself because of what Onan did to her. The law said if a married man died without children, it was the duty of the brother or other near relative to marry the widow. The son of the union would be reckoned to be the son of the first husband. Onan knew if he made a child with her, that child would get an inheritance that was the right of his brothers child. With his brother gone, he and his children would be able to claim the right of the first-born. That meant he used Tamar for sex but Scripture says that he let his semen spell on the ground. For a Jewish woman it meant disgrace and people thought being childless was a punishment from God.

God than puts Onan to death because of how he treats Her. She was promised to be married to Judah’s 3rd son who was very young. Tamar is now left waiting for the third son to grow up. Two husbands have died for treating her so poorly.  One used her. She had no children, and that was looked down on. Now she is waiting for a boy to grow up and she is not sure he will become her husband.

Eventually Judah’s wife dies and Tamar takes matters into her own hands. She dresses as a prostitute and sits by the road waiting for Judah to pass. He thinks she is a prostitute and has sex with her. He promises her a payment but she asks for his signet, cord and staff to hold until payment is brought. They are Judah’s seal. In other words they are ancient version of our personal ID. They are how he would prove his identity and now she has them in her hands. Judah sends a friend with her payment in exchange for his things. She is gone… 3 months later she is pregnant and Judah wants her burned for her sin. Judah asks her by whom are you pregnant? “By the man whom these belong, I am pregnant” she says, as she shows him his possessions.

Tamar got justice for herself. According to the law she had rights but her means of achieving those rights were extreme and not my right to judge. She fought for her inheritance and in her we see how important it is for us to also fight for what is ours. By that I mean our spiritual inheritance. We are daughters of the one true God, heirs in Christ and we should let nothing take that from us. God rewarded Tamar’s tenacity and determination with the birth of sons. One became an ancestor of King David, Israel’s great hero. She is counted in the genealogy of Jesus. You my sister are also worthy to call yourself part of God’s family.

To see Tamar’s full story, read Genesis:38

Until next week,

May you be Simply Blessed.

For more daily encouragement and Heartfelt Ramblings order you copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel and christianbooks.com

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Woman to Woman…You are Worthy

Welcome back to my Woman to Woman series…Lessons from the women of the bible

Last week I started our women to women series by looking at Abigail. Over the next several weeks I would like to look at five women who are the perfect example of God’s forgiveness and provision. In these five women will see that we to are worthy to call ourselves daughters of God. The enemy loves to fill us with lies. Satan wants us to think that we are not worthy and that God could never use us because of past mistakes.

It is my hope that the women of Matthew 1 will allow you to throw the lies the enemy has feed you out the window. Matthew 1 is a record of the genealogy of Jesus and four of the women are named and the fifth who is not named is said to be the wife of wife of Uriah.

Three of the women where gentiles: Tamar, Rahab and Ruth. I believe the fact that women were listed in the genealogy of Jesus, and that three were gentiles shows Gods love is for all of us. At the time it was written women did not have a lot worth in society. Mathew 1 shows us that God’s grace is not limited to just men or to only the people of Israel. God’s grace is for each of.

Today I am going to ask you to read Matthew 1: 1-17 and make a note of the women listed and dig in a little on your own. Next week we will dig in and look at Tamar. In each of these five women there is a lesson and I am so excited to share with you what God has shown me as I have gotten into his word.

Until next week ladies (and any men who may be reading this), May you be Simply Blessed

For more daily encouragement and Heartfelt Ramblings order you copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel and christianbooks.com

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Woman to Woman…Abigail

Today I am starting off my “Woman to Woman” Series. Over the next several weeks I will be looking at women of the bible and what we can learn from them.  Anger and revenge. Two ugly things that can trip us all up and I love this lesson from a very wise woman named Abigail

Abigail (1 Samuel 25) is the wife of Nabal. He was a very wealthy man but he was not very kind. While in the wilderness, David came upon Nabal and he sends his men to greet him and wish him health and a long life. Nabal’s response toward David and his men was very rude and David becomes angry. In his anger, David wants to kill Nabal. Abigail hears from a servant what her husband had done and because she was a wise woman she acts quickly. She gathered bread, wine and other foods. With her servants going before her, Abigail goes to meet David and offer him a proper greeting. When she finds David, she falls to her knees and pleads with David not to get blood on his on his hands. Abigail is explaining to David that she understands his anger but she wisely lets David know that he should not kill her husband because it will leave blood on his hands. She directs him to trust The Lord and to keep his hands clean. David listens to her wisdom and he does not seek revenge. About 10 days later Abigail’s husband, who’s heart was hardened, dies.  We can all learn from Abigail’s example. When anger and the sense of revenge hits us we need to remember that we should not take things into our own hands. Ask God to remove your anger by replacing it with joy. You’re not saying that what was done to you was right or that it should be excused.

Give the pain to God and ask Him to take care of things as he sees fit. Please understand I am not asking you to pray that God will end their life. I am asking you to tell God that you cannot live a life filled with anger no matter how righteous it is. Tell Him that you trust Him to deal with those who hurt you. Keep praying for God to help you let go of the anger because hanging on to it allows what they did to control you.

This is something that you may have to address over and over because the enemy doesn’t want to see you move forward in victory. Take your battle stance and don’t allow him a stronghold. Have a simply blessed day and let Abigail be a reminder to never take revenge into your own hands. If you have time today please read 1 Samuel 25

Shares are welcomed and I would love to hear your thoughts on today’s post. 

For more daily encouragement and Heartfelt Ramblings order you copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) at christianbooks.com

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Learning Never Ends

Photo Credit J. Holesworth

We teach our children and they also go to school to learn.  The learning or the instruction should not stop at the school or within our homes.

Learning does not end when we become adults. Daily we should be seeking the wisdom and instruction of God. He is the greatest teacher. Jesus was also called Rabbi or teacher. The lessons God has for us never end. We have to be willing to learn and grow or we will miss what he is teaching us. No matter how old we are we all need a teacher, a Rabbi, God…and we should never stop listening to His instructions for our life. We should be digging into our text book…the Bible. And we need to do so on a regular basis.

I love psalm 119:33,34 in the Message transition:

God, teach me lessons for so I can stay the course. Give me insight so I can do what you tell me—my whole life one long, obedient response.

Lord, today I pray that whoever reads this will seek to learn from you. That they will open their bible and dig in. I pray that daily they will learn from you and find lessons from you in the most unexpected things. Thank you for being our teacher and for always wanting to help us grow in wisdom. Amen

Remember that learning does not end just because you are an adult.

Have a Simply Blessed day:)

 

For more daily encouragement take a look at my 31-day devotional Simply Blessed on Amazon or Barnes and Nobel

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Keep Moving Forward

Photo Credit J. Holesworth

Life is not always butterflies and rainbows There will be times of pain. In those times we can look to the one constant thing…God. He will walk through the fire with us. When we turn to His word we find truth. It is the truth of His word that we will be encouraged to keeping moving forward even when we feel like stopping.

Scripture tells us:

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire , you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. Isaiah 43:2 NASB

If you are walking through something painful, you are not alone. God is with you. You just need to trust Him. He loves you so much that he sent his only son to die for you. Hold tightly to Him and keep moving forward.

Have a Simply Blessed day.

For more of my heartfelt daily encouragement order my 31-day devotional Simply Blessed. Order today at Amazon or Barnes and Noble

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Happy New Beginnings.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;  his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

The “steadfast Love” means the…unchanging, unwavering, unhesitating, unfaltering, unyielding love of the Lord. It is a love that never ceases. His mercies or you could say his forgiveness never comes to an end. They are new every morning and today as we start a new day and a new year, you can hold on to the promise of his word. 

Today is the day when everyone picks their new years resolutions…”I am going to go to the gym and get in shape”, “I am going to read more and learn more”, “I am going to work towards a promotion at work”. The list is long of the new starts and new goals.

Before we move full-steam ahead on our New Years Resolutions, it is my hope that each of us would take a moment to ask God to forgive us of the things we need forgiveness for. By doing so, we can start the new year with a clean slate. Thank God for his steadfast love. Thank him that his mercies never come to an end. Thank him that every morning they are new and they are also new with the start of a new year.

As you think of your New Years resolutions, take some time to think of a scripture for 2018 also.  Mine is Psalm 143:8.

Let the morning (and the New Year) bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Psalm 143:8. 

Write your scripture down and place it where you will see it on a regular basis. Feel free to use the same one I did if it speaks to your heart. Please share in the comments what scripture you choose.  Your scripture just might be what someone is looking for.

Happy New Year and Happy New Beginnings. 2018 is here…a new start! 2017, the old is gone.

For more Heartfelt Ramblings be sure to grab copy of Kim’s book Simply Blessed…finding joy in the little things. Order today at Amazon or Barnes and Noble

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Help…Please Water Me!

My poinsettia sits in my kitchen slowly shriveling because I have been so busy that I have forgotten to water it. I noticed it the other morning and felt horrible. I quickly got some water on it and by the end of the day it had come back to life. What a perfect mental note that I needed to slow down and make sure I was filling myself with what was important…the living water.

That beautiful poinsettia was a reminder to me of what we are like on the inside when we are not filling ourselves spiritually. Just as we fill our bodies with food, we need to fill our spirits with prayer, study, fellowship, and worship.

I know this is a busy time of year. All the Christmas fun and celebration followed immediately by New Years can be draining on us. We can’t let the most important things fall to the side in all the hustle and bustle or we will become dry like my poinsettia. The shriveled petals and the leafs that had fallen of the poinsettia were screaming, “Help! Get me some water”.

In no time at all the poinsettia sprung back to life when I gave it a drink. What about you? Are you filling yourself with what you need or are you running on empty…spiritually dry?

Take some time and open your bible today. Refresh yourself with the living water of Jesus and while you are at it double-check your Christmas tree or any plants you have. They may need water too. Jesus is the reason for the season but he should be the living water we fill ourselves with on a daily basis.

May you have a very Merry Christmas.

For more of my Heartfelt Ramblings order my 31-day devotional on Amazon or Barnes and Nobel.

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Prayer and WWJD (What Would Jesus Do), Week 5

Today we bring our study of prayer what Jesus has to teach us about prayer to a close. In John 17: verses 9 and 15 Jesus demonstrates the importance of intercessory prayer when he says, “I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. In verse 15 He prays, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one”. Just as Jesus intercedes in prayer for us, we need to follow His example and intercede for others.

If we read on in John 17 Jesus continues to pray for all believers. I am going to give you some homework. Sometime this week I would love for you all to open your bibles and read all of John chapter 17. It is only 26 verses but it is a beautiful look into the prayers of Jesus.

Right up to the very end of his life Jesus demonstrates prayer to us. While on the cross, Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. In my opinion those 12 words are the most powerful prayer ever spoken. In his last moments of life Jesus prays for those who have nailed him to the cross. Father forgive them is a petition. He could have prayed father consume them for what they have done but instead he intercedes for his transgressors. The last part of Isa 53:12 foretold of Christ’s prayer of intercession. “Yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors

Jesus Prayed often, He prayed for others with prayers of intercession. He is sitting at the right hand of the father interceding for us now. He prayed alone, he prayed with others, He prayed the long marathon kind of prayers. He prayed right up to the end of his life. Jesus prayed and so should we. To read the other 4 days just scroll down in the blog.

For more of my heartfelt ramblings pre-order your copy “Simply Blessed” and help fight hunger. $1 for every pre-order between now and December 31 will be donated to Generation Alive and $1 covers the cost of 4 meals. Offers ends December 31st.

Simply Blessed is a 31-day devotional for women. The thirty-one light-hearted short stories tackle real life issues that all women face. From fear, control, gossip, their identity in Christ and for some women, abuse. Simply Blessed reminds us that God is not a God of religion, he is a God of relationship. He is comfortable like our favorite Saturday sweat pants. Grab your favorite warm beverage, curl up with a blanket and let the words of Simply Blessed bring you joy.