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I Will Put My Dwelling Place In You

 

I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. Leviticus 26:11. Those are fourteen powerful words. God was telling the Israelites that He was going to dwell among them. And for God to say, “I will not abhor you,” meant that God would not regard them in distaste or hatred.

In the book of Leviticus God gives the Israelites a detailed blueprint about how to build the Tabernacle. When their work was completed, He resided in the “Most Holy Place” of the Tabernacle. How amazing it must have been for the Israelites to have God living among them with the promise that He would not abhor them. What about you and me today? We don’t have the Tabernacle so does that mean God is not living with us? On the contrary, God is living “IN” us.

God not only took up residence among the Israelites but He took it one step further and has taken up residence “in” those who believe that He sent His Son to die for them. When you give your life to the Lord and believe that His son died for your sins, you become God’s temple and His spirit dwells in you.

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (ESV)

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What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 2 Corinthians 6:16 (NIV 2011)

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. Romans 8:9 (NIV)

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. John 14:23 (NIV)

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)

God has made His home in you. You were bought and paid for with a price. His words to the Israelites, I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you from Leviticus were a precursor to what would come for you and me – the gift of Jesus Christ.

 

 Originally written for Living Better 50 Magazine

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Don’t Just Frost Yourself

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The thick layer of frosting swirled perfectly on top of the cupcake was calling my name. I’m a frosting girl. One bite into that cupcake, that looked so beautiful, led to instant disappointment. Underneath the frosting was a very dry cupcake lacking any flavor. We can very easily be just like that dry cupcake. On…
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Life is Peachy by Hanna, “Hanna’s Happenings”

Have you ever looked at a piece of fruit and thought, “wow, this is beautiful.”?

I’m guessing probably not. I know I haven’t.

But then, it happened.

I was sitting at my kitchen table enjoying a peach that I had picked up earlier in the week from the grocery store. With it being winter, I knew this peach would have some imperfections but I chose to look past them and satisfy my craving. While eating the peach I looked at it closely and made the crazy comparison that perhaps this finite, sunset colored peach was like life. In all of its imperfections it was still sweet to the taste.

Life is like a piece of fruit. When I looked at it closely it was bruised, but when I chose to see it from a different perspective that small peach suddenly became perfect. It was as if in that moment my entire being was within that peach. I felt that God was looking at me, telling me that my walk with Him is perfect, despite the flaws I see in myself, and the burdens I carry. God never said that life would be easy. He knew there would be bumps along the way, but to God we are perfect.

In the summertime it’s easy to take that ripe peach for granted. Summertime fruit is always the ripest and most satisfying. The sweet taste of it on our lips can become ordinary and we can skip over the meaning it holds. However, whenever winter rolls around that peach starts to look a little more bruised. For some reason we always seem to notice the peach and its imperfections when life isn’t going the way we want it to. This life gives us so many reasons to only notice the bruises.

When life knocks us down we have two choices: either dwell on the imperfections of this sinful world, or to enjoy the little things that go unnoticed by most. If you really think about it, anything that exists in itself is extravagant! This is because everything was made by God! God is the definition of extravagance. “This is the day the Lord has made! We will rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalms 118:24 NLT).

I have been working on finding joy in things I wouldn’t normally notice. When you have this mindset life can be pretty peachy! Each day there are so many beautiful things and as Christians we have the opportunity to see life the way God intended. No matter what happens to us, the sun will always rise the next day, and fruit will always grow on the trees He planted within the rich soil. How amazing is that? How precious are the infinite details that God has woven into each and every day!

This week I have really noticed how truly blessed I am by the little things. Sometimes a peach can really make Hanna's Happeningsyou listen. Taking the time to notice beautiful imperfections in moments of trial and misunderstanding show me how my life truly is; a little bruised and a little unripe, but perfect in the eyes of my God.

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Never Lose Your Laughter

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My mom and I

Over the years I have had more than one person mention to me that they were surprised by how much fun I had for being a Christian. I guess I missed the memo that said once you have been saved you will never have fun again.

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My best friend

 

As I have grown in my walk with the Lord there have been some things I no longer take part in because they just don’t feel right to me anymore. My laughter and desire to have fun are something I cherish and I know God would never want me to give up. (The silly photos of myself, family and friends from my sons graduation party should be evidence of my desire to have lots of fun).

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My son and some of the guys from my “Dirt, Trucks and Faith” series.

While trying to type this post, my phone has been going crazy with text messages from a group of my friends. They are all believers, Christians who have not found the need to give up their sense of humor. The photos they sent me had me laughing so hard and that laughter blessed me after the very hard week I had been having.

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My husband and his best friend. Two of the funniest guys ever.

 

Sadly when I became first gave my life to the Lord I had another believer tell me that my sense of humor was not honoring to God. It was not that I was saying anything crude but I liked to have fun and I always seem to have a line for everything. Her words crushed me. I was new in my faith and I wanted to honor God so I began to shut down in the humor department. The feeling that I could no longer be funny and have fun made me wonder if I really wanted to be a part of this new life I had found. How could something that feels so good and so right mean I could no longer find joy in laughter?

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My wise friend who told me the my sense of humor and my laughter were gifts.

Thankfully someone who I knew and respected pulled me aside one day and asked me if I was okay. She said where is your joy? You have always been full of laughter and so much fun to be around. She told me that my sense of humor and quick wit was a gift. Apparently she felt my ability to make others laugh was important.   As I cried and shared with her what I had been told by another person she told me that God gave us laughter for a reason. She told me that God would never want me to give up my sense of humor.

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Having fun with some more of my friends

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My daughter and a couple of her friends that I love like they were me daughters also.

I hope you understand the importance of laughter and that just because you are a believer in Christ it doesn’t mean you have to give up all fun. God is a loving God, and I can’t help but think that our laughter must be music to his ears. He is more than just the God we call on in our hard times; he wants to share in our good times also. Laughter is good medicine and we all need to remember to use it. “We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. 
And the other nations said, “What amazing things the
Lord has done for them”. Psalm 126:2 NLT  Go ahead and laugh a little. Better yet laugh a lot. Laugh until it hurts your stomach or until you cry. Life can be a lot easier with a good laugh and a joyful heart. Never loss your laughter.

 

Originally ran on Living Better 50 magazine.