Before I get into my reflections on my worship meditation this week, I need to share with you a wonderfully intense experience I had Thursday morning. Around 2:30 am I awoke from a dream. It was so strange. I was in heaven, or at least a heavenly place. I was surrounded by angelic type beings that had no form that I could discern. They seemed to glow, filled with light, so much so that I couldn’t see any arms, or legs or anything really. They were singing in a language that I couldn’t understand, but my soul sang with them. It was like something inside me understood what I was hearing, even though my brain didn’t get it at all. I sang with them in worship of God. And just as my brain began to understand what I was hearing, the dream began to fade and I awoke with a coughing fit (my norm). When I woke up I held my breath, trying to stop the cough, but also because I felt like if I laid there very still and concentrated I would remember the language I had heard. It was right there, on the fringes of my brain, and then it faded. My heart still longs to sing that song again and I hope that I will reenter that place in my dreams. It was wonderful! Have any of you ever had a similar experience?
This week’s worship song was Even Louder by The Church Will Sing. Let me share some of the lyrics from this awesome song:
Faithful in the sanctuary; Faithful in the storm Worthy in the empty spaces; Worthy in my song A thousand years of endless praise will never be enough Through it all my heart will cling to Your unfailing love Even if the drums stop beating My soul will keep on singing Even louder, even louder Even when my eyes can’t see it I’ll sing ’til I believe it Even louder, even louder I will sing Your promise in the dark of the valley Until I see Your goodness in the land of the living
I highlight the above lyrics because they spoke so deeply to my heart. I’m not sure about you, but I have had times in my life where I haven’t felt the presence of God. I have had times where I thought that I was all alone and that God was not even remotely listening to the weeping of my soul or the beckoning of my heart. Crying in my bed, or my car, or in a corner. But God was there. And how do I know that? Because even when my eyes can’t see or feel Him, He is there. His Word gives me unimaginable hope:
1 John 5:14 (TPT), “Since we have this confidence, we can also have great boldness before him, for if we ask anything agreeable to his will, he will hear us.”
Psalm 66:19 (TPT), “But praises rise to God, for he paid attention to my prayer and answered my cry to him!”
1 Peter 3:12 (TPT), “For the eyes of the Lord Yahweh rest upon the godly, and his heart responds to their prayers. But he turns his back on those who practice evil.”
Hebrews 4:14-16 (TPT), “So then, we must cling in faith to all we know to be true. For we have a magnificent King-Priest, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who rose into heavenly realm for us, and now sympathizes with us in our frailty. He understands humanity, for as a Man, our magnificent King-Priest was tempted in every way just as we are, and conquered sin. So now we come freely and boldly to where love is enthroned, to receive mercy’s kiss and discover the grace we urgently need to strengthen us in our time of weakness.”
My friends, I know that life can sometimes, or even often, be overwhelming. But God is there in the midst. His loving kindness is poured over us. His mercy can overwhelm even the most daunting and discouraging circumstances. And even when we can’t see it, or feel it, we must still seek Him and worship Him! We must sing loudly to combat the voice of the enemy that tries to convince us that God is not present. And it is in these moments of desperation, when it seems as if God is not there, that our worship can transform our lives!
This next week my personal worship song is Beautiful Things by Gungor.
Make Room by The Church Will Sing: And I WILL make room for you – Jesus To do whatever you want to Here is where I lay me down All my burdens all my crowns. This is my surrender. Here is where I lay junk down All my lies and all my doubts. This is my time to change. Shake up the ground – of ALL my ambitions Break down the walls – of ALL my religion Your way IS better!
Since I began my #WorshipChallenge2021 last week I’ve been singing this song every day. I have varied the lyrics to work deeper on my heart. Deeper into me and my personal walk. Let me encourage you to sing and change lyrics to speak deeper into your heart. It’s not just about the lyrics that were written, but how God is speaking to you through those lyrics.
It’s not enough to just Make Room for Jesus to come in and change you. I heard a message a long time ago that we have to be very careful clearing our minds and hearts of things that have corrupted us, and then not being intentional about filling that space up with things that will glorify God and grow us a believers. By clearing space, it can often get filled with junk that will make us even more miserable than we were to begin with.
Oh Yahweh, I have made room in my heart, mind and soul. Fill it with You. Your presence. Your love. Your life. Your desires. Your wisdom.
James 1:5 (TPT), “And if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and he will give it! He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures but he will overwhelm your failures with his generous grace.”
Some of the lyrics: Even if the drums stop beating My soul will keep on singing Even louder, even louder Even when my eyes can’t see it I’ll sing ’til I believe it Even louder, even louder
Please consider joining me in this time! Feel free to share. You don’t have to give me credit. Let’s create a Body of Believers that are passionately and privately and corporately worshipping the Most High God!
I’ve decided to do something for the rest of 2021. Every week I will have a different worship song that I am going to focus on. I am going to listen to that worship song at least once every day. At the end of the week, I plan to journal what God has revealed to me during my private worship time.
I feel like we have lost, or maybe it’s just me, connection with the Lord. Maybe it’s the isolation. Maybe it’s Covid. Maybe it’s just Satan, and that’s probably more likely than anything else, but I feel like I haven’t taken time to very deeply worship God! Am I alone in this? I don’t think so!
Today I was listening to a song that is just really been penetrating deep into my heart, and I felt God just nudging me and telling me that I needed to spend some time in private worship.
What is private worship? For me it means a time where I can just listen to music and meditate on God and the goodness of God, but most importantly listen to his voice! How often do you take timeto actually listen to God?It’s so easy to ignore the voice of God and just focus inwardly, or focus on worldly needs.
Whether or not you want to worship with the same weekly song I choose, I want to challenge you to spend 5 to 10 minutes just singing and worshipping Christ every day! Let’s do this together! Let’s worship! Let’s see what God is going to reveal. Let’s celebrate today the great revelations we can anticipate!!
Here is where I lay it down Every burden, every crown This is my surrender This is my surrender Here is where I lay it down Every lie and every doubt This is my surrender
And I will make room for You To do whatever You want to To do whatever You want to I will make room for You To do whatever You want to To do whatever You want to
So, who’s in? Let me know what song you’re meditating on this week! Let’s rejoice and worship together! God is so faithful and good!
About that #WorshipChallenge2021 … I have gotten some wonderful feedback and people that are excited to join me on this journey of anticipation and worship. So, I decided to make a worship playlist that will eventually include all my personal worship songs for the rest of 2021. #WorshipChallenge2021
I’d also love to include yours too. What songs have been life changers for you? Songs where God has spoken directly to your soul? Songs that have changed your life? Songs that have conveyed your deep love of Jesus? I would love for us to all be able to use this playlist as a way to connect with each other but most importantly connect with God!
Brown yarn – not a ton needed, it’s for your hat brim. Green yarn – this goes through yarn, but it’s hard for me to judge. I was using a red heart super saver large skein of green yarn and I barely made a dent in my first round of making the hat. 5 mm crochet hook Darning needle Scissors
Stitch Abbreviations: SC = single crochet SS = slip stitch BOS = bobble stitch SCBLO = single crochet back loop only
Back loop only – when the piece of work is facing you the back loop is the one farthest away from you. So instead of crocheting through both loops (which is standard) you will only be using the back loop.
Bobble stitch = all bobble stitches will be only done in the back loop only. Yarn over, insert hook and pull up, yarn over and pull through two. You’ll now have 2 loops on the hook. Yarn over and insert hook in the same stitch again and pull up, yarn over and pull through only two loops. You’ll now have 3 loops on the hook. Yarn over and insert hook in the same stitch again and pull up, yarn over and pull through only two loops. You’ll now have 4 loops on the hook. Yarn over and insert hook in the same stitch again and pull up, yarn over and pull through only two loops. You’ll now have 5 loops on the hook.
Brim Round 1 (BR1) – chain 7 with brown. Turn and sc in the second chain from the hook. Sc in 5 more chains (6). Chain 1 and turn.
BR2 through BR60 – Scblo in 6 sc’s. You will repeat this until you have made 60 rows. This will be the brim of your hat.
BR60A – when your have finished BR60 you will chain one and then hdc along the bottom of the brim of your hat. This gives you a nice edge that will actually be the top edge of your brim along the green tree. When you reach the other end you will chain 1 – bring the other side of your brim together and then sc both ends together to form a circle. Meaning – place the flat edges of the 6sc rows together and sc through both ends at the same time so that they’re now together. See picture attached that shows the raised seam. Once you have sc 7 times (because of that hdc you added it’s now 7 in length) chain one. You’re now joined and will no longer turn your work at the end of each row.
BR60B – sc around the top edge that you have just joined together. Ss at the end and tie off brown. You’re done with that (61 sc). This is also the BOTTOM edge of your hat.
Round 1 (R1) of the tree – join your green yarn along the hdc edge. You are going to be using the loop that’s behind the V stitch of the standard loops. You will only use this secondary loop on this round only. It helps the tree rest inside the tree. SC in 5 secondary loops. Then 2 sc’s in the next loop. Repeat this pattern all the way around. You will then have (70 sc’s). SS at end and chain one.
R2 – scblo in 3, bos in next *scblo for 4 stitches and then bos in the 5th stitch* repeat around until you’re at the end. You will have one scblo before you ss at the end. Chain up one. (15 bobbles & 55 sc’s)
R3 – scblo in 7 stitches and then scblo 2 together (see pictures – insert hook into stitch, yarn over and pull through, insert hook into next stitch, yarn over and pull through – yarn over and pull through all 3 loops). Note – you will end with 7 scblo’s and no decrease. Chain one. (63)
R4 – scblo all the way around. (63)
R5 – scblo in 1, bos in next, at this point you will be eyeballing the spacing of the bobbles. I generally try to to make them diagonal to the bobbles in the row below. Given that you did decreases in R3 what looks diagonal to you and me may differ. So sometimes you may have 4 sc’s in between bobbles and sometimes you may have 3. SS at end and chain 1. (14 bobbles & 49 sc’s)
R6 – scblo in 6 stitches and then scblo 2 together. Note – you will end with 7 scblo’s and no decrease. SS at end and Chain one. (56)
R7 – scblo all the way around, SS at the end and chain 1. (56)
R8 – repeat R5 (14 bobbles & 42 scblo)
R9 – scblo in 6 stitches and then scblo 2 together. Note – you will end with a decrease. SS at end and Chain one. (49)
R10 – scblo all the way around, SS at the end and chain 1. (49)
R11 – repeat R5. The only difference here is that when a bobble is only separated by 1 or 2 sc’s – then I skip and place a bobble in the middle of the next bobbles. In this way you will generally lose one or 2 bobbles on this round and in each subsequent round after. Given that this method is subjective (as I’m to lazy to type out my desired pattern for each bobble round because it’s just to labor intensive) your bobble amounts may differ from mine. So, keep that in mind. You may want your bobbles closer together. I just didn’t like that look. This is where crochet patterns take on some freedom and allow each user to do their own thing! You do you! (11 bobbles and 38 scblo)
R12 – scblo in 6 stitches and then scblo 2 together. Note – you will end with 1 scblo. SS at end and Chain one. (43)
R13 – scblo all the way around, SS at the end and chain 1. (43)
R14 – repeat R11/R5 (10 bobbles and 33 scblo).
R15 – scblo in 5 stitches and then scblo 2 together. At this point you will be decreasing more each round because I don’t want my hat to be super duper high. Note – you will end with 1 scblo. SS at end and Chain one. (37)
R16 – scblo all the way around, SS at the end and chain 1. (37)
R17 – repeat R11/R5 (7 bobbles and 30 scblo) I ended with 2 scblo’s. SS together and chain 1
R18 – scblo in 4 stitches and then scblo 2 together. Note – you will end with 1 scblo. SS at end and Chain one. (31)
R19 – scblo all the way around, SS at the end and chain 1. (31)
R20 – repeat R11/R5 (7 bobbles and 24 scblo) I ended with 4 scblo’s. SS together and chain 1
R21 – scblo in 3 stitches and then scblo 2 together. Note – you will end with 1 scblo. SS at end and Chain one. (25)
R22 – scblo all the way around, SS at the end and chain 1. (25)
R23 – repeat R11/R5 ( 5 bobbles and 20 scblo) I ended with scblo’s. SS together and chain 1
R24 – scblo in 3 stitches and then scblo 2 together. Note – you will end with a decrease. SS at end and Chain one. (20)
R25 – scblo all the way around, SS at the end and chain 1. (20)
R26 – repeat R11/R5 ( 5 bobbles and 15 scblo) I ended with scblo’s. SS together and chain 1
R27 – scblo in 2 stitches and then scblo 2 together. Note – you will end with a decrease. SS at end and Chain one. (15)
R28 – scblo all the way around, SS at the end and chain 1. (15)
R29 – repeat R11/R5 ( 3 bobbles and 12 scblo) I ended with 1 scblo’s. SS together and chain 1 this is your last bobble round.
R30 – scblo in 2 stitches and then scblo 2 together. SS at end and Chain one. (12)
R31 – scblo in 1 stitch and then scblo 2 together. Keep doing this without a slip stitch until you have a tight little nubbin at the top. I had 6 stitches at the top and chose to pull through my yarn and cut a tail. Grab your darning needle and sew the nubbin together. You can easily do this by sewing only through the back loop which will cinch this together. YAY your simple Christmas tree hat is DONE!
Now for optional embellishments:
Pom Pom – I’ve decided to do a Pom Pom in green and silver at the top. I’m doing this primarily to hold up the star that I’m placing at the top. But first, the Pom Pom directions. Take a piece of cut yarn and slip it between your fingers. Because I want a tight and small pom I’m just wrapping both green and silver yarn around 3 fingers only. Once the ball is formed I take the string that I put between my fingers and slide it up and around the pom. Tying the knot I pull tight until it’s secure and tight. Now trim down to get the size of pom you want taking care NOT to cut the tying piece of yarn, and attach to the nubbin. I do this by using a crochet hook to pull through the trailing ends of the tying yarn and pull it into the hat. Weave in ends and then tie a small knot on the inside of the hat.
The star – Using a 3.75mm hook I made the star with a goldish yarn with a gold string pulled into it that way it’s sort of a sparkle yarn – https://www.stitching-together.com/simple-stars/ After I completed round 2 on the link I added a third round of SC around. However, at the bottom of the point (where the sc was done on round 2) I actually slip stitched into round 2 to sort of pull the star tighter. Make your way all around and SS at the end. Pull your yarn through the back and towards the middle. Use the trailing yarn and pull into the top of the nubbin again in front of the pom. After I did this I decided to tack it down in 3 different areas because I wanted it to sit more flush against the hat and the pom without folding and losing it’s star shape. The pic indicates where I tacked it down but of course it’s optional.
The garland – I just happened to have Lion Brand Fancy Fur in both Bold Black and Rainbow Red. I untangled the two strands so that I pulled out the furry strand from the ball strand. I then pulled the ball yarn through the hat and created a small loop on the inside of the hat. Then go to the outside of the hat, insert my hook and pull the loop to the front of the hat through another hole. Then pull the strand of yarn through the loop (keep it open with your finger). Once you have pulled all the yarn through then make sure the strand is very loose (because it will tighten when you pull the hat on your head). Pull the loop and the strand tight and then go to the next area you’d like to place the ball strand of yarn, or whatever yarn you’re choosing to use to decorate your tree.
Do as many embellishments as you’d like but this is where I stopped. Enjoy. You can also stuff some stuffing into the top to make it stand all the time. Up to you.
IF you choose to to make this hat, please tag me in it on Instagram (Sherisdoodles). This is the first pattern I’ve ever offered to anyone ever. So if I have mistakes let me know. I may tweak this later, but I was tired of making trees.
We’re looking at 1 Kings 5. Now I ask you to stick with me through the small rabbit hole, and math, that I’m going to take you through. Because, I promise you, I’m going somewhere with all of this.
Solomon wrote a reply to King Hiram’s congratulatory letter and stated that he wanted to build a temple to the LORD his God. To do so, he asked Hiram in verse 6, “… please command that cedars from Lebanon be cut for me. Let my men work alongside yours, and I will pay your men whatever wages you ask…”
If you’ve read some of the Psalms and other passages in the Old Testament there are references to the Cedars of Lebanon. It’s hard to appreciate the work that was ahead for all of these men without understanding what the Cedars of Lebanon looked like.
The Cedars were renowned at the time because they were HUGE and plentiful! Present day – the forest located in the Kadisha Valley of Bsharri, Lebanon have been depleted due to deforestation, but it is now a protected area. But I was wondering – how big are these cedars anyway? And what did that even look like? How much did they weigh? What would I compare that to so that I could have a true perspective of what these looked like? And thus my rabbit hole of information and math (I can’t stand math) ensued!
The largest recorded cedar was 130 feet high. Given that this is a present day number we can assume that the trees in this forest would have averaged this size. At least I’m assuming that, but for my calculations we’re using 100 feet high as our dimension. Other things that are 100 feet tall? A 10 story building. 1/3 of a football field. The length of a Boeing 737.
Generally the widest a cedar grows is 8 feet. For our calculations we used 6 feet wide. This will then accommodate how a tree tapers at the top. Other things that are 8 feet wide? The length of a King sized mattress. 8 bowling pins stacked on top of each other.
To determine how much this tree would weigh I found out that a standard cedar plank that’s 6 inches X 6 inches and 16 feet long weighs 130 pounds. This is where the math begins, and I humbly asked my husband for help. These dimensions for the plank means that the plank is 6, 912 cubic inches, and 53 cubic inches per pound of the 130 pounds.
So then – a tree 100 feet high, 6 feet wide would measure 280,000 ish square inches which then equals 5,283 pounds (that’s 2 1/2 elephants). Now if this math is wrong – you can blame my hubby.
King Hiram sent the following reply to Solomon about the wood (1 Kings 5:8-9) – “… I have received your message, and I will supply all the cedar and cypress timber you need. My servants will bring the logs from the Lebanon mountains to the Mediterranean Sea and make them into rafts and float them along the coast to whatever place you choose. Then we will break the rafts apart so you can carry the logs away. You can pay me by supplying me with food for my household.”
If you read further in chapter 5 you see how many men Solomon sent, and how much he paid annually to Hiram. But what struck me… was how big those trees were. And men, without chain saws and mechanical means, were felling these trees and getting these all the way from Lebanon to Solomon.
Imagine walking up to a tree as high as a 10 story building, and all you have is your ax, and maybe a hand saw. And then you look straight ahead and realize the tree is as wide as a king size bed is long. And as you begin to saw, you realize how insurmountable this massive tree is, let alone how are you going to drag out something that weighs as much as 2 1/2 elephants. You may be tempted to just set your lumberjack gear down and walk away. And that is how our Big God takes down Big Cedars!!! God didn’t see this task as huge. It was but a speck in God’s peripheral vision.
What ever 10 story, 8 foot wide, 5,283 pound tree you’re standing before today is nothing to God. Stop putting your own fears on Him. Stop thinking God can’t possibly help you, or that God isn’t able. I am a walking testimony to the provision of God, and His ability to take what is insurmountable and turn it into a successful story. I was drowning, trapped under a raft – and He saved me. I was on deaths door with sepsis and organ failure – and He saved me. I was once lost, and now I am found – BECAUSE HE SAVED ME!
I’m not sure what Cedar you have, but turn over your figurative forest and give it to God. He’s a far better lumberjack than you will ever be!
1 Kings 4 – wow. Just wow. I am amazed at the amount of wisdom imparted to King Solomon.
I find myself asking – how and why did Solomon have all this wisdom? Because he asked God to give it to him is the how. But the amount of wisdom is going to be the Why that we will refer back to often as we walk our way through 1st and 2nd Kings.
I just want to remind people that I’m not a bible scholar. My views here and blog entries are not meant to be the beat all, end all of biblical guidance. These are just my thoughts. These are the things that jump out to me as I read. I want to write them out here because it keeps me accountable and I want to hear what others have to say. Also, if God can use my meager writing skills to reach just one person, then I’ve done what I need to do. I just wanted to make sure that I remind you all I’m not trained in bible interpretation. So please don’t ever hang your hat on what I type here. I’m not a scholar, I’m just a Sheri.
The beginning of chapter 4 really highlights the structure of his officials. The advisors he chose, the priests that he had, the managers of property, the army commander, etc. These all paint a picture of the kind of King Solomon was.
Let me provide perspective – wherever you sit on the political spectrum you will often measure a persons character by the people they surround themselves with. If they choose fraudulent people, then you’ll often see them as a liar. If they choose socialists, you’ll perceive them to be a socialist deep down. If they choose a varied cabinet of advisors you may interpret that to mean that they’re confused about where they stand OR that they want to embrace all political and social thoughts. How these people behave going forward will have direct impact on how people will view the leader. Such is the case for Solomon. I suppose we’ll see eventually how this works out for him.
He also had 12 governors over the 12 districts. In verse 20 it states, “… they (the people of Judah and Israel) were very contented with plenty to eat and drink.” The people were well cared for by the governors, advisors, and priests, and this level of provision reflected directly onto how Solomon provided and guided his people.
As I read through chapter 4, I really was impressed with the amount of detail in verses 29-34 that discuss the specifics of the wisdom that God had provided to him. Let’s list it out: 1) Very great wisdom and understanding. 2) Knowledge as vast as the sands of the seashore (think about that – that’s A LOT of knowledge) 3) His wisdom exceeded that of all the wise men of the East and Egypt. It even lists out some of the specific men that Solomon was wiser than. 4) He composed 3,000 proverbs 5) He wrote 1,005 songs 6) He could speak with authority about plants from the great cedars of Lebanon to the tiny hyssop plant. 7) He could speak on animals, birds, small creatures and fish 8) Kings from every nation sent their ambassadors to listen to the wisdom of Solomon
That amount of knowledge is overwhelming. Yet he had also been given the wisdom to accompany the knowledge. He didn’t keep it to himself. He shared it with others. He discussed what he knew, and had visitors come solely to listen to him share his knowledge. As I drew my doodle today I thought about all of that information being contained in one person. Yet he didn’t contain it at all. He had all that knowledge placed in him and he then shined it down upon everyone that came into his presence. He exuded the presence of God. He illuminated the lives of those that encountered him.
Do I shine onto others? Do I keep all that God has given to me and hoard it so as not to lose it? If I were to freely share what God says to me, how much more would he give? Maybe just maybe you can join me in sharing with others what God has revealed to you? And in doing so, we will get so much more!
I really do come up with strange titles for things, however my mind just kind of works this way.
My Mom reminded me today that it had been a few days since I’d put up an entry on 1 Kings. So here I am, catching up a bit. I will post a blog today and then do one tomorrow too.
Today we’re discussing 1 Kings 3. Let me remind you of a few things – Solomon is now officially King and he has received wisdom from God to rule the kingdom of Israel. 1 Kings 3:16-28 are probably some of the most often referenced passages on King Solomon.
Let me set the scene – 2 women, who are prostitutes, are brought before him. One woman (Let’s call her Debra) states that she had given birth to a baby and shares a home another prostitute (Let’s call her Ethel). Well Ethel also had given birth but in the night had rolled over on her baby and had smothered it. She then got up and took Debra’s baby and replaced Debra’s baby with her own deceased child. She then claimed Debra’s baby as her own. Ethel declares that is her child and Debra is the one that did those things.
King Solomon thinks on things for a bit and then, reminding you this is with Godly wisdom, states, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other (vs 25).” Ethel says – yeah, that’s a great plan. But Debra says – No, please don’t do that – give the child to Ethel. When the King hears how the women responded he says – give the child to Debra for she is the real mother.
When we read this passage it’s easy to only see the horrifying suggestion Solomon made – cut the baby in half, but he was only using this as a way to decipher the real mother. He was hoping that one of the women, because she was bonded to her child, would rather see her child live with another woman than to see her baby lose his life. And while this is true, this is not what struck me.
It was the resolve and love of the real Mom and the desperate bitterness of the false Mom that struck me.
I gotta be honest with you, I love chocolate. I even wrote a poem about it once – Chocolate my sweet chocolate, the love of my life. When you’re away I am filled with strife… Chocolate is something that brings me happiness. Butterfinger, Cadbury with almonds, Skor, I could go on, but I won’t. I don’t generally like to share things I love. They’re mine, they belong to me. And if I won’t even share my chocolate with some of my own family members (and hide some of my best pieces because I don’t want to share) then I certainly would not share my loved ones with someone else either. I cannot imagine someone asking for one of my daughters to replace their own, and then willingly give them up. Nay nay. If maybe they’re lives are being threatened, maybe then. But I’m not sure. Could I do it? Could I sit in my home and watch someone walk by with my family that they stole from me? It’s such a deep question. What are we willing to give up for those that we love?
I also find myself feeling deeply sorry for Ethel. In her bitterness and despair she lost all ability for reason and sense. How often has my own sense of pride, selfishness, hurt and confusion led me to be harboring hate for others successes, resentment and covetousness for others blessings? How deeply have I grieved my Father when I’ve let my humanity take precedence over my Savior!
So, I suppose I like chocolate a whole lot, but I love my Lord more. And if He asks me to divide myself from something I love because God needs that thing to glorify Him (whether home, family, politics, church, friends, chocolate) then so be it. Lord, just give me a heart that is able to yield to your perfect will and guidance.
We’re moving through 1 Kings, and today I’m going to be referencing 1 Kings 3:5-15. But before we do that, we will need a hot second to discuss what just happened in chapter 2.
It’s really important to understand the context of the executions that just happened in chapter 2. I mean, if you really think about it, it’s brutal, but here’s a couple of things to keep in mind. To ensure his place on the throne, and to remove warring among his own people, it was necessary to take care of some messy business. I heard Game of Thrones was pretty brutal (I never saw it because Kristen told me it was not Sheri appropriate), but this is real life – not fiction.
1) David talks to Solomon and pretty much gives him a list of both people that wronged him personally and also people that were loyal and/or had been wronged by the terrible actions of others. He wants to ensure that Solomon will make things right. 2) Ad (remember him from chapter 1) is the older brother. This means, if he doesn’t get his act together, his mere presence could cause in fighting just by the fact that he’s the older brother. Spoiler – he doesn’t get his act together at all. 3) Solomon puts together a mental and physical list of the people that he can trust and removes those people that had aligned themselves with Ad.
While all of these murders seem, well bloody, it’s necessary to remind ourselves that the end game here was to remove the possibility of war within his own palace. How many thrones have been taken down from the inside? This was the problem, and Solomon did all this under the protection of God. He wanted his reign to be about peace and taking care of those that had previously committed acts of treason and murder. Also, I’m sure this was a minor factor, when you right what was done wrong – the people sit up and take notice and future enemies do too. This also cements your leadership as king.
Moving on – in chapter 3 we’re hanging out with Solomon while he sleeps. And the LORD appears to Solomon in a dream. In the dream he asks Solomon what he wants. “Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?” (vs. 9)
Often when you hear people speak on Solomon they refer to how fair he was in his dealings with the people, and how he led as king. They often speak about this passage and how he asked God for wisdom, and wasn’t that amazing?
But that’s not at all what jumped out to me here. I mean yea, I am blown away that he thought to ask for wisdom. When I was single I initially prayed for patience while waiting for my future Mr. Right for Sheri, but after waiting so freaking long I finally prayed for wisdom so that I could understand what was taking God so long. So it’s cool that Solomon right away asked for wisdom.
The thing that hit me though, was that he did it in a dream. And it’s not the fact that God came to him in a dream, it’s that Solomon was so open and centered on God that his heart responded to the LORD’s presence in the dream.
I’d like to draw your attention to 2 verses. 1 Kings 1:17a, Bathsheba speaking to David says, “My lord, you made a vow before the LORD your God…” and then 1 Kings 2:3a, David is speaking to Solomon, “Observe the requirements of the LORD your God…” Do you notice the change – when people were speaking to David they always said it was the Lord HIS God. But at the moment when Solomon was crowned King – God became the Lord HIS God too. The Lord was no longer only David’s God, but Solomon took on that relationship and pursued and looked to God as his own!
Now when you see that change in Solomon and his respect and love of the Lord it makes the dream that much deeper. Have you ever been so deeply mindful of God that you dreamed of Him? Me? No, I dream of weird things, or food, or people that have ticked me off, or how to commit the perfect murder (I really gotta stop listening to True Crime podcasts right before I go to sleep). But here’s Solomon hitting the hay, and chit chatting with God in his dreams.
Oh Lord, please help me to open my heart and mind to you so that you can inhabit all the places in my soul. Not just when I’m awake, but even when I’m asleep!
It’s been a really long time since I was out here writing on my blog. And today, well it’s my 50th birthday. I’ve learned a lot in my 50 years, but I have so much more to learn. I’m going to be honest, I haven’t been reading God’s word like I should. But a study I’ve been doing at night on the YouVersion Bible app has been all about Elisha’s ridiculous faith. We just finished this study yesterday. It was 13 days long, but I think I need to devote way more time to reading about Elijah and Elisha. I may have been away for a while, but buckle up kiddos. I’m back in the saddle again!
Today I’d like to draw your attention to 1 Kings 1, specifically verses 46-53. I’ll give you some context. Adonijah was the son of King David. the Bible mentions that David didn’t really discipline his son, and so Adonijah (we’ll call him Ad because I want to) was really full of himself. He thought he would make the most wonderful king ever. And since King David was on his death bed Ad took it upon himself to gather friends together to preemptively celebrate his coronation as king.
When he sent out his party invites he neglected to invite his older brother, his dad’s advisors, the prophet Nathan, etc. Kinda seems like he was trying to get some stuff done under the table. Or maybe he just thought his dad was so sick he wouldn’t notice. Luckily David had some good advisors and a spouse that remembered what her son Solomon had been promised… to be king after David passed.
Through various conversations and whatnot’s David found everything out and appointed Solomon king! He stepped down before he died and was able to witness his son Solomon take over the throne.
Now picture this – Ad is having his little shindig with all his cronies. They’re all celebrating how Ad is going to be king and they’re going to get all that they want because they’ll have their own man in authority. While in the midst of their banquet, they hear shouting and celebrating in the streets because they were all so self involved, they didn’t even realize that anything had been happening at the palace. And then he’s told – All the celebrating is because King David just appointed Solomon as the new king. The whole city is celebrating and rejoicing (vs. 45). And Solomon is already sitting on the throne (vs. 46). At this point Ad’s party breaks up and all the people run out of there trying to disassociate themselves from him.
Cowering in fear Ad is afraid that he’s going to be killed by Solomon. Why you ask? Because he realized he had been arrogant, rude, deceptive, ignorant and Solomon has every right to have him killed.
And that’s when it hit me – Ad is the perfect picture of how humans approach life in general. We count our chickens before they hatch. We make decisions based upon how we want things to turn out, instead of waiting to hear from God and get direction from Him and Him alone.
How often have you figuratively gathered friends (and quite possible frenemies) around a table to celebrate your impending coronation as princess perfect pants only to realize you’re not so perfect after all. And all the things you were convinced were going to happen just aren’t going to come to fruition at all!!
I’m preaching to the choir here. I’ve found myself all to often gathering up eggs that aren’t filled with anything assuming I’ve got a tons of chickens. And what do I have??? Bupkis!
I’m going to begin today only counting the chickens that God puts directly in my path, and I’m going to leave all the egg prep to God.
Consider joining me on my journey through 1st and 2nd Kings. I’ll try to be here at least every other day! Blessings friends – and let’s keep our chickens to ourselves!
I actually have stayed relatively silent on this whole Super Bowl issue but I really feel like I need to say a few things (in love) because this has just been rolling around in my head for DAYS – and when that happens, and it wont go away, then God is asking me to step out of my comfort zone and risk judgment. So here goes:
DISCLAIMER *** The viewpoint expressed below is written by a Jesus following, Bible believing, Born Again, broken, messed up, not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, flawed child of the King of all kings ***
As a believer and follower of Christ, I am called to set myself apart from the world. 1 John 2:15-16 (NLT) “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.”
So what’s that mean for me, Sheri? Well, I need to exist in this world but that doesn’t mean that I should just let worldly viewpoints creep in and take over. It means that I have to sometimes take a stance that is unpopular by the worlds standards. And in doing so, I may alienate people that would usually call me friend. And while this is a scary concept, I’m also called to speak the truth – in love.
So here’s my *** see disclaimer above *** take on the Super Bowl halftime show. It spoke more to me about how people have compromised their moral choices then it did about empowering women. To have someone scantily clad, pole dancing doesn’t scream to me that they’re asserting their womanhood. It says, they’re demeaning their own gifts and qualities to appeal to the base human emotion – sexual desire. And for me, this does not scream independent womanhood, or humanity.
My belief is that Christians need to make sure that we do not become blinded by the worlds definition of what it means to be a woman, human or more importantly – Christian. You see, if I begin to let the world creep in and define my walk with Christ, and what I will allow in my heart and in my head, then I have ceased going to the Creator for my guidance and have then begun listening to the “created” for my perspective on what I’m supposed to be.
Look, I make mistakes. I’m not perfect. But I am a child of the King. I’m going to try my darndest to act like He wants me to, and not what the way the world wants me to act. I’m going to speak the truth in love, even if it wins me some detractors. I’m going to pray for personal conviction, even if that means I have to humble myself and apologize for wrong I’ve done. I’m going to conduct myself daily as a daughter of the KING! I’m going to take this body I’ve been given and try to make it a better temple for the my Savior and the Spirit – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I will leave you with this
“But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over these people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in this world. Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us.” 1 John 4:4-5