I am His workmanship tag

I was tagged by Summer for this: I am His workmanship. I've never done one of these on my blog. So just for fun, here's a little bit about how God made me:

A. Attached or Single? Attached
B. Best Friend? My husband
C. Cake or pie? A berry pie!

D. Day of choice? Saturday, cause my man's home and we usually do something together as a family.

E. Essential item? Bible/journal/pen
F. Favorite color? Red
G. Gummy bears or worms? Bears
H. Home town? Roseburg, OR
I. Favorite indulgence? Chocolate

J. January or July? January in Arizona

K. Kids? Two precious sons!
L. Life isn’t complete without? Knowing Christ!
M. Marriage date? September 4th, 1993
N. Number of brothers and sisters? 2

O. Oranges or Apples? Oranges if they're sweet.

P. Phobias? Being underwater and unable to breathe (I'm thinking scuba diving and the air runs out)

Q. Quotes? "Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes - The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries." -Elizabeth Barrett Browning
R. Reasons to smile? This could be a VERY long answer... I have many reasons to smile, I'm the most blessed woman on the planet! God loves me! He calls me His friend! I get to be changed into His image this side of heaven and when I get to heaven I'll be made like Him and see Him face to face! And here reasons to smile fill my days: My husband wrestling with the kids on the floor. My son saying something about Jesus that only could be said with the faith of a child. The sunset Jesus painted just for me! :)

S. Season of choice? Spring... even here in the desert new life is seen in the spring!

T. Tag 2 people: Jennifer (Diary of 1) and Jo Princess Warrior
U. Unknown fact about me? I've been keeping a journal since I was 8 years old. I have like 20 full ones in my closet and I'm almost finished with my current journal.

V. Vegetable? Asparagus
W. Worst habit? Picking at my cuticles!

X. X-ray or Ultrasound? Ultrasound. Ultrasound means new life being knit together and getting to see it happen... x-ray means something's broken.

Y. Your favorite food? Steak, baked potato with all the fixins and a loaded salad with house dressing!

Z. Which zoo animal is your favorite? Lions

October 31st is the Lord's!

I have a burden for October 31st. I feel jealous for my Lord on this day it seems more than others. I know the controversy amongst Christians concerning Halloween and I'm not speaking to that, except to say I pray all Christians will act by faith, according to their conscience before God this day just like any other day. What I'm writing about here is this voice that's crying out from within me, "October 31st is the Lord's! It's not Satan's birthday, or the darkness's special day. It's not a day for witches or ghosts. It's not a day to celebrate decapitation or evil (which I've seen twice today already, just going into Walmart... that's another post!). This is the day that the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it!

I guess because so many are so blatantly enjoying dressing up like death and murderers and various depictions of evil and horror, I feel like I cannot keep silent on this day! My worship and my shine must be all the more bright.

And I can't hide my kids from the celebration of evil they see everywhere on this day. If I go into Walmart, there's a cashier with perfectly done makeup and costume realistically displaying herself as a nearly decapitated, beaten to death woman. If I go into Micheal's to get a frame for my kids' latest artwork, there I see a moving, moaning statue of a decapitated bride holding her own head. Because the violence is everywhere, I've vigilantly been talking with my boys about what Jesus says about death and evil. I've been teaching them the truth that God is Love and love does not rejoice in evil!

Love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. 1 Corinthians 13:6
(Good News Translation)

I've been seeking to redeem the time as I teach them to follow me as I follow Christ in speaking what's true and rejoicing in it.

Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will
give you light." See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
redeeming the time, because the days are evil. - Ephesians 5:14-16

Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech
always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to
answer each one. - Colossians 4:5-6

What's true is God created everything for His pleasure, His glory, His honor and to reveal His power! So I've been teaching the boys that because we hope in Christ, though we will die someday (unless Jesus comes for us first) we will live.

I've been telling them that God is love and love doesn't rejoice in evil, so when we see a murder depicted in costume, I literally fight back tears and look in their eyes and say, "That's murder sons. We are sad about that, not happy. God is sad about that, not happy."

I've also been buying back what God created that seems to be attributed to evil and darkness this time of year. For instance, I've talked with them about the spooky and yucky things God made, like eyeballs, and guts, bats and black cats... even the night God made. I've been walking around saying, "God made bats. Thank you Jesus for bats. God made cats. Thank you Jesus for cats." God made all these things to reveal Himself and His attributes, His creativity and His beauty... they don't belong to the devil or hell!

As for witches and ghosts I've talked to them about the heart of our Father and the wonders of the unknown spirit world we don't see with our eyes. I've said, "Boys, God is like the best daddy in the whole world... even better. He knows what's best for us. He doesn't want us to participate or celebrate or identify ourselves with witches because witches don't know Jesus and they talk to demons... angels that follow the devil. And God wants us to be unafraid of spirits, though there are real spirits, some who obey God and worship Him, and some who hate God and try to destroy everything He made."

My boys are going to see witches, ghosts, murderous costumes and the like tonight, but I trust that God's word is mightier and the open worship of Jesus as the creator of all things is brighter, even more in the darkness.

You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For
you created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were
created." - Revelation 4:11

So tonight we are worshiping Jesus, Lord of October 31st LOUD! We are playing this music on our front porch:

We are displaying the truth about death (when you know Jesus) in these signs and fake gravestones which have the stories of faith that go with the person who was a witness of Jesus to this world, along with a sign declaring, "It's all YOURS God!" We're also praying like crazy and looking forward to inviting the kids who come by our house to play a game with us in the yard and enjoy some hot cider and treats... just to be in our presence that Christ might shine on them.

I love You Lord Jesus! I offer these signs and activities, these interactions and discussions, these intercessions and conversations as worship! Be glorified! We were created for Your pleasure!

John Piper spoke my convictions concerning voting as a Christian much better than I ever could have

I'm not really "here" as far as I have much going on and not much time for writing (which really bothers me... to everything there is a season though. :)), but I just had a minute to sit down and do some computer errands and read this article from John Piper concerning voting (which I found through the links at Gina's place, Chats with an "Old" Lady), and all I can say is a humongous AMEN!!!

I've been wanting to write what's on my heart concerning voting, but haven't had oppurtunity and John Piper expresses it perfectly.

If you're a Christian and you have any thoughts, concerns, convictions, etc., concerning voting, I encourage you to go read this article!

Here's a tidbit:

Voting is like marrying and crying and laughing and buying. We should do
it, but only as if we were not doing it. That’s because “the present form of
this world is passing away” and, in God’s eyes, “the time has grown very short.”
Here’s the way Paul puts it:

The appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who
have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away. (
1 Corinthians 7:29-31)

What I'm singing this morning

This morning the words of this song are overflowing from my heart and reminding why I feel drained, poured out, emptied, and spent in a day. I've given my life, all of it, to Jesus. I'm poured out and drained for Him. Each morning He gives me the grace and mercy sufficient for the day. And this morning as I sang these words to Him I heard, "Remember Sheila, that You gave me all of you today." And as though He was giving me a slide show with that reminder I saw myself on the kitchen floor, cleaning up the fiftieth glass of spilled something, sighing, secretly thinking, "I'm so tired. I'm so spent."

"That's when I want you to remember Sheila, that you gave me all of you. Then you'll be able to smile and gladly worship me in your offering of cleaning up what never stays clean."

If you're a mom, I encourage you to sing this song to Jesus from your heart. And then today your emptied out life as a mom won't seem vain to you. You'll remember that you offered Jesus ALL of you!

Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for thee.

Take my voice and let me sing always, only for my king.
Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from thee.
Take my silver and my gold not a might would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use every power as you choose.

Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it's all for thee.

Take my will and make it Thine it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is thine own; it shall be thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord I pour at your feet its treasure store
Take myself and I will be ever, only all for thee,
Take myself and I will be ever, only all for thee.

Here am I, All of me.
Take my life, It's all for thee.

(Take my life, Lord take my life. take all of me)

Here am I, All of me.
Take my life, It's all for thee.

Just for fun... and what I'm really doing

Thanks Kristen for posting this fun little ditty. Mine is spot on! I'd LOOOOOOVE to sit down and reminisce with an open journal, Bible and a pumpkin latte this morning... but it's not happenin! If you scroll down you'll see what I'm really doing and why I probably won't be able to blog much less sit down for a nice latte in the next few days or so.

You Are a Pumpkin Latte

You are always up for a celebration. You are a very festive person.

You look forward to every holiday, and you are nostalgic for good times after they're over.

You appreciate the small things that make life special. You love little treats.

You often look at the world with childlike wonder. There's so much to enjoy!

Caring for orphans and being poured out as a mom

"...for I am already being poured out, and the time of my release hath
2 Timothy 4:6 Young's Literal Translation

This morning I have two specific moms on my heart. One is my sister and friend Summer, and the other my sister and friend Kandace (my sibling sister).

I received a heart-touching email from my sister Kandace this morning.

She and her husband have been going through the necessary steps to adopt in their state system for the past 2 years. Just two days ago, they finally got a call to take in two young boys ages 9 months and 18 months for foster care.

My sister has struggled with resigning herself to foster care, feeling like she'd have to experience loss constantly, when the children are taken away, since she cannot but pour out her love and not hold back when they are with her. But finally, she and her husband, after much prayer and waiting, have decided to give themselves over to loving whatever children come into their home, whether they get to adopt them or not, and to trust that God is doing what is best for them (the children and them as a couple).

When I hear my sister's heart, and see what she and her husband are doing, my heart overwhelms with joy and compassion because I see the heart of God and His plan for all moms in my sister's story.

Like my sister, we moms who have "our own" children that we bore with our bodies, must give ourselves over to vulnerably loving them, training them, and pouring out our lives into them, not knowing when they may be taken. All moms are foster moms so to speak. It's easy to forget and think of our kids as our own since they were born from our bodies, or, if we adopted, since they are legally ours, but the truth is, God has done through us what His word says He does.

"He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the
stranger, giving him food and clothing." Deuteronomy 10:18

By placing a child in our care, God has administered justice for the fatherless. If that child comes through our body, God uses our body. If that child comes through our front door, God uses our door. And to the degree that we are willing to be poured out on these children's lives, loving them, training them, being an example of Christ to them, we are revoking our rights as moms in trade for worshipping God through loving these little ones with redeeming love. Our lives become an offering to God, which is the best, most fulfilling, and most fruitful way to mother a child. Through us He administers justice for the fatherless.

When I looked at the picture of Summer and Zane and their ever growing family of beautifully colored children this morning, after reading the email from my sister, I just felt the heart of God changing me and showing me what He says motherhood is.

It doesn't center on me and my needs, it centers on God administering justice for the fatherless. It doesn't center on me being loved, it centers on me being a vessel through which Christ's redeeming love can capture the hearts of children in my care. It isn't so much about being filled up (though their is great satisfaction and filling in loving children), it is about me being poured out!

I remember singing this song when I was in my church's youth group:

Would you be poured out like wine upon the altar for Me?
Would you be broken like bread to feed the hungry?
Would you be so one in Me that I may do just as I will?
Would you be light, and life and love My Word fulfill?
Yes, I'll be poured out like wine upon the alter for You!
Yes, I'll be broken like bread to feed the hungry!
Yes, I'll be so one in You that You may do just as You
Yes, I'll be light, and life, and love Your Word fulfill!
I find myself singing that song often in a day, when I start to feel complaints rise in me cause, "I don't have any time for myself," or, "I'm drained! I need a break!" As soon as I begin singing I hear Jesus asking me if I'll be poured out like wine upon the altar of my kids' lives for Him. His love changes the way I think about being a mother.

Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering
of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. -Philippians 2:17

My sisters have reminded me this morning of God's will for me as a mom- the beauty and privilege of being poured out like an offering of worship as God administers justice for two boys who would be orphans if I didn't obey God's call on my life.

Lord Jesus thank You for my sisters Kandace and Summer. Thank You for loving me like they are loving the little ones You've entrusted to them. Thank You for reminding me that this is the ecstasy of life... being poured out in love because that's what You did for me! I can't be "life and light and love Your Word fulfill" apart from You. But through You I can do all things. I give You my body, my time, my mind and emotions, my will.... Lord Jesus, please have Your way with me. I trust You to guard and keep that which I've entrusted to You- the hearts and minds of these two little boys. Lord, as Kandace and Wally, Summer and Zane, pour out their lives into the little ones You've brought to them, I pray You would become more and more known to them. That they may know Your love increasingly and Your presence very really. Guard and keep the seeds planted in their little ones.

The honesty of Job

In my through the Bible in a year plan (which I'm about 6 months behind on) I'm in Job.

I haven't wanted to read Job lately to be honest. I've been doing everything to stand and take my stand against the wiles of the devil which seek to make me doubt and be discouraged and depressed... and so, reading Job just hasn't appealed to me.

But this morning as I heard the call to return to my daily readings through the scriptures I found myself being surprisingly refreshed by the sufferings and honest prayers of Job.

I posted over at my benediction blog today, blessing God for the honesty of Job and how I see that honesty of casting all my cares on God because He cares for me in my little children. I pray they never outgrow that! I also see that honesty increasing in me and am reminded of how easily I tend to be naturally like Job's "friends". I tend to have a religious haughtiness that is always trying to "teach" someone why or what they may have done. But as the Lord has touched my life with His grace and exposed the wickedness in me He has increased my capacity for talking with Him honestly and being transparent before others too... not always trying to figure out why or lay blame somewhere, but rather just crying out to God and standing with others while they cry out too.

Job also reveals this longing we have when we're honest before God: that someone would plead for us before God because we know we have no ability to stand before Him.

Job prophecies when he says, "Oh, that one might plead for a man with God. As a man pleads for his neighbor!" Job 16:21

He prophecies of Jesus.

Job stands in the place of salvation right there. Right there where he knows he needs someone to plead for him... someone who can stand before God on his behalf.

Salvation is not found in doing what you think is right in the sight of God- where you think you are saved, like Job's friends thought, because they were wise and didn't practice wickedness. Salvation is found in having a broken and contrite heart... a heart that like Job cries, "My spirit is broken..." (Job 17:1) That's the place where Jesus stands pleading our cases before God as a man pleads for his neighbor, and He is salvation.

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a
contrite spirit. -Psalm 34:18

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart--
These, O God, You will not despise. -Psalm 51:17

Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen,
who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
-Romans 8:34

Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. -Hebrews 7:25

Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. -Romans 8:27

Spiritual opposition from Elizabeth Elliot

(image found here)

No one goes to church more than the devil does, and no one appears as an
angel of light as he does. We are in the thick of facing powers of darkness who
are determined to rob us of Him and rob God of us, and you and I, my brother,
have just got to hope in Christ and rely on Him for His Spirit to direct our
thoughts, our ways, and our works so that it is not us but Christ in us.

This is an excerpt from my emailed devotional by Elizabeth Elliot. Boy do I need this alerting reminder! The enemy wants to rob me of Christ and rob God of me and I've just got to hope in Christ and rely on Him and His Spirit to direct my thoughts, ways and works, so that itis not me but Christ in me!

Oh Lord I feel the weight and hear the confusion of the enemy pressing in and speaking poison. I will worship YOU! Though my mind is barraged with doubts and my performance is discouraging to say the least, I won't hope in my thoughts or in my performance... I hope in You! I hope in Your rescue, Your salvation, moment by moment! Redeem every moment for Your glory Lord Jesus through me today! Let the enemy see His END because Your Love will not fail in me! Oh Spirit of Jesus encourage us today! Encourage us to speak by faith and look up by faith!

Happy Sukkoth!

I've been learning about Jesus through the study of the Biblical Holidays and just realized... HELLO, yesterday was the begining of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkoth) Sheila!

So I opened up my Family Guide to Biblical Holidays and read the chapter on Sukkoth. I was so blessed in many ways.

First, just sensing that testimony in me of, "Yes, this is true," while reading about the spiritual living out of tabernacles by us as those born again, sojourning through this life, looking forward to our heavenly and eternal city made by God.

I read this excerpt from a commentary by Matthew Henry in the chapter:

It is supposed by many that our blessed Saviour was born
much about the time of this holiday; then He left his mansions of light above to
tabernacle among us (John 1:14), and he dwelt in booths. And the worship
of God under the New Testement is prophesied of under the notion of keeping
the feast of tabernacles, Zec. 14:16. For, [1.] The gospel of Christ
teaches us to dwell in tabernacles, to sit loose to this world, as those that
have here no continuing city, but by faith, and hope and holy contempt of
present things, to go out to Christ without the camp, Heb.13:13-14. [2.]
It teaches us to rejoice before the Lord our God. Those are the
circumcision, Israelites indeed, that always rejoice in Christ Jesus,
Phil.3:3. And the more we are taken off from this world the less liable we
are to the interuption of our joys.
"The gospel of Christ teaches us to dwell in tabernacles, to sit loose to this world, as those that have here no continuing city, but by faith, and hope and holy contempt of present things, to go out to Christ without the camp..." WOW! That rings amen in my soul! I praise God that increasingly I have a holy contempt of present things. The more I walk in the Spirit the more I understand how true it is that in following Christ you must hate your own life ( Luke 14:16). When Christ has been born in you, you sit loose to this world, while at the same time loving and longing for a deposit of that continuing city to be found in the souls around you.

I truly believe it was in the spirit of the feast of tabernacles, that, before even studying out the Biblical holidays, I began desiring to celebrate at Christmastime John 1:14 by pitching a tent in the living room next to the Christmas tree and reading John 1:1-18 to the boys and talking to them about how God came and dwelt in flesh among us kinda like us leaving our beds and houses to live in a tent.

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

There's so much to learn of our Lord, to really get to know HIM! If we search for Him we will find Him. Studying the Biblical holidays has really enriched my intimacy with the Creator of the Universe and the Lover of my soul!

To learn more about Jesus through the Biblical Holidays go here.

No magic wand tranformation Christianity

Ever wish progressive sanctification (being conformed into the image of the Son... from glory to glory) involved some version of a magic wand, pixy dust, or a beauty sleep induced from heaven to which you wake up changed!?

I have a dear friend who has said to me before something like, "I wish God would just knock me out, so I'd be sound asleep and then I'd wake up and not have this problem anymore. I wish I'd just wake up and be changed."

I think she speaks something that we Christians often feel secretly. We have the Spirit of God in us. We see ourselves as the wretches we are. We hate our lives in the since that Jesus said, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple." (Luke 14:26) And we wish God would just zap us and make us like Christ with the wave of His hand. What's hard to accept is that God does this conforming of our lives to the image of His Son little by little AND with our cooperation.

In that section of scripture in Luke 14, where Jesus says if you don't hate your own life you cannot be His disciple, He goes on to say, "And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple." I like how Luke records it, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." (Luke 9:23) It's a DAILY dying! It's a daily process.

The sojourning life. The life of walking by faith through this life is a life of being transformed, day by day, into the image of God's Son, and it's a process by which we cannot change apart from Christ yet it is also a process by which God will not change us apart from our willingness partner with Him by obedience in being changed. We cannot transform ourselves into Christ's image, but Christ will not impose His will upon us without our willing submission. He's patient. He's perfect. He disciplines. He chastises. He teaches. He encourages. He wills and acts in us even, but it must be worked out by us. We must willingly obey.

This is the hard thing about living the Christian life that we often wish was different. It would be so much easier wouldn't it if God would just zap us and walla, we'd be Christ-like in ever area of our lives. But God doesn't want robots or unwilling lovers. He wants willing vessels. Even willing vessels who say, "I don't want to God, but nevertheless, not my will, but Your will be done in my life, as it already is in heaven, in Christ, finished and done!"

I finished reading this morning and in the bathroom and in brief readings between folds of laundry today a very challenging and equipping book by Lou Priolo, Teach Them Diligently. In it he writes of the fallacy of the Zap Theology: The kiss and make up with God syndrome. Priolo says:

Have you ever struggled to overcome a bad habit in your life? Sure you
have! We all have. Many Christians, however, when they "struggle"
with sin don't really struggle at all. Rather, they simply confess their
sin to God, pray that He will help them change, and promptly get off their knees
expecting that God has somehow infused ("zapped") them with a special
measure of grace which will enable them to never commit the same sin again,
without any (or very little) further effort on their part. This is what is
sometimes referred to as "the kiss and make up syndrome with God." (a quote from Jay Adams). Progressive sanctification is, of course, an act of God, but
it is also a process which requires our cooperation. It is not enough
merely to pray that God will change us. We must also do what the Bible
says is necessary to "put off" the sin and "put on" Christ.

It's hard to accept, and although I personally have and also know of others who've experienced miraculous deliverance from God in a certain area of their lives (such as with addictions), even in those instances God requires obedience on our end to further grow in faith and in Christ-likeness.

God must be speaking to me about this. Because after finishing Teach Them Diligently, at naptime today, I opened up Beth Moore's Breaking Free (my first read of a Beth Moore book- I know. Where have i been?! Ask my kids!), which I had to put down because I realized this book is a Bible study which I need to devote some open notebook, pen, Bible and prayer time to. But before I put it down I read this:

As we begin our study, I need to challenge you. We
will consider biblical keys to liberty, but don't expect to find a magic
potion. Real freedom requires real work. A key part of the work
involves God's Word. We hide God's Word in our hearts so that we might not
sin against Him (Psalm 119:11).

I'm listening God! I'm frustrated with myself. I'm frustrated with my kids. I guess I've really been wanting a magic potion too! Oh forgive me Father for my laziness! You deserve my daily, moment by moment, dying to myself. My kids aren't transformed into mature Christians who are passionately in love with Jesus in an instant and neither am I. Yet we can rest in Your finished work! Help me and the boys to show that we do rest in Your finished work by willingly obeying You no matter if nothing seems to be changing or not. I thought today Lord, that if You had had no faith, you too would have thought at the end of Your life, after all You had done, standing before Pilate, that nothing was changing, in fact, everything seemed to be getting worse. But You authored the faith You lead me in. You didn't look at the seeming failure of Your poured out life when they nailed You to the cross, You looked to the joy set before You, even the joy of seeing me with You in glory. Oh Lord! You will complete that which You started in me and in my children. I will trust in YOU!

Thoughts on Yom Kippur

(Image from Biblical Holidays website)

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: "Also the tenth day of this seventh
month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you
shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. And
you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his
people. You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout
your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn
rest, and you shall afflict your souls
; on the ninth day of the month at
evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath." - Leviticus
23:26-32 (emphasis added by me)

What was a law pointing Israel to their need for atonement is, to those circumcised in heart ( believers in Jesus as Savior and Lord), a law of spiritual life in Christ.

To one it is a law like the law of a land... do's, don'ts, etc. to show them/us that we are in need of atonement ("...the Bible's central message is atonement, that is, that God has provided a way for humankind to come back into harmonious relation with him..."). To the other (the believer) it is a law of spiritual life. It is not something we do so that we are accepted, it is a truth of the rhythm of life we have in Christ. Just as it is true of who we are as earth dwellers that gravity holds us to the ground it is true of Spirit-walkers (those who live by the Spirit through Jesus' atoning work) that what happens during Yom Kippur is part of our spiritual lives.

Because Jesus is our atonement, we live out Yom Kippur (the day of atonement) as a season of life in the Spirit personally and prophetically Yom Kippur will be lived out (fulfilled) in season of it's divine appointment nationally (I believe for each nation) and world-wide. I have a lot of contemplations and discussions and mostly listening and storing in my heart to ponder over how the season of Yom Kippur will play out in time for America as a nation and for the world with Israel's appointed time. I ponder these things and pray about them as God moves in me to see how He moves a "day" or time of atonement in my own life personally. I do believe what the Spirit does in our lives effect the whole body and the whole body lives out nationally and globally what the Spirit is doing in us individually.

Anyway, as I was thinking today and praying and really listening to God's heart about what Yom Kippur means for me, as a Gentile, saved by faith in Christ, I began to realize that what the scripture says is to happen on Yom Kippur was already happening in me, in my heart, and it has been that way for a season of about a month or so. It's been a time where it seems like my sin is continually before me and I'm hating my own life ( in a good way ) which is in turn growing my love for Christ and what it cost Him to save me and bring me to Him again. I realized Yom Kippur is really a season of spiritual life in Christ. Pictured in the Old Testament, and lived out by faith in our lives now, there are still daily sacrifices: dying to self, confessing sin, acknowledging need for forgiveness and rejoicing that it is found in Jesus, (Luke 9:23), but there is also found this side of heaven seasons of being grieved over our own sin: seeing our sin, confessing it, being freed from it, being healed and matured in Christ.

It's a law, like gravity, at work in my life in Jesus. It's not a law I obey so I don't get in trouble... no! It's a law at work in me! A law of doing what David did in Psalm 32:

When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the
drought of summer. Selah I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have
not hidden. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," And You
forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah For this cause everyone who is godly (those who know they are sinners and who confess their sins) shall pray to You In a time when You may be found... Psalm 32:3-6a (Parentheses by me)

It's a law I find at work in me when once a time (a season) I, "...acknowledge my transgressions and my sin is always before me." (Psalm 51:3) It's not that I don't acknowledge my sins daily, for the most part I do... as the Psalm says, they're always before me. But there also comes seasons when my transgressions seem to be staring me in the face daily and I feel that heavy hand of God upon me. Sometimes in Spirit-life in Jesus it's Yom Kippur. My sin is just always in front of me and my soul is afflicted because I know how much it cost to be atoned for.

It's a law I find at work in me which ultimately makes me love the Lord more, and love other people's souls with Christ's love more too. Because, like Jesus said:

"Therefore I say to you, her sins which are many, are forgiven, for she loved
much. But whom little is forgiven, the same loves little." (Luke

It's the law of the Spirit exposing sin in me, rebuking and chastising me... His hand "heavy upon me," so that I am afflicted in soul and confess my sin. I say the same thing God says about what I've done and my condition (which is what it means to confess). Specifically, openly. Though it stinks.

As I was listening to a teaching from Searchlight today about confession, one of the things Jon Courson said which struck me was something to the effect of, confession is not asking God for forgiveness... you already have forgiveness in Jesus. Confession is saying what God says about what you've done and your condition... calling it sin, just like He does and then giving thanks for the forgiveness you have in Christ. He went on to talk about how confession is like what happened when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead in John 11:1-27. He could have commanded the stone to roll away and then called Lazarus to life, but instead He commanded people to roll away the stone. There has to be a rolling away of the stone, though it's hard and what comes out is gonna stink, for a person to experience resurrection life in that particular area of their lives. That's what sin looks like in a picture: the rolling away of a stone and letting the stink be exposed so that Jesus can show Himself powerful to atone for us in bringing us new life and in freeing us from those sins that have bound us and kept us in death.

Yom Kippur is really a law of spiritual life like Paul described in Romans 7:14-23 which brought him to the glorious declaration, "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

This morning I sat down with my boys and confessed a sin that has been before me constantly lately, the sin of being angry. I said with my mouth what God says about it, that if you're angry with your brother for no just reason then your as a murderer in His eyes (Matthew 5:21-26). I said, "Lord I've been angry with Connor and Ryland for no good reason, and I've murdered something in them Lord, something has died..."

Just saying that out loud was so hard! It was like rolling away a heavy stone and then it stunk. My flesh wanted to say, "But I'm not a murderer. Getting angry isn't the same thing as murder." But when I said what God said about my sin and agreed with Him though it stunk I was able to embrace His forgiveness knowing that it cost Him His life to atone for that sin. And I look with anticipation for the resurrection life He is replacing that old, dead sin of anger in me with. I wept. And then I rejoiced because Jesus is the Lamb who died for me and the Lamb who ever lives to make intercession for me during this day of atonement season of my life.

  • When's the last time you openly, specifically, with your mouth said what God said about your condition?
  • How about you? Do you experience seasons of your sin always being before you? If so, embrace it! It's Yom Kippur for you! Confess them openly and let the resurrection life of Jesus resurrect you!

*** For more about Yom Kippur head over to Biblical Holidays***

Marriage Monday: 10 Tips for frugal living

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis
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"There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing: and one
who makes himself poor, yet has great riches." - Proverbs 13:7

A timely Marriage Monday topic today.

I've been watching the news about the economy and find it interesting to learn about how these things work (economics) on a large, national scale. Truly, I have a hard enough time understanding how to be be a good steward as a home economist, much less trying to understand what a 700 billion dollar bail-out means!

But one thing I do know: My trust is not in government nor in dollar bills, but in my Father who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (meaning- my Abba's rich and He knows how best to provide for me! See Psalm 50:10). With that trust comes an earnest desire to oversee and use what He provides me in a way that brings Him glory. For the most part that means being frugal, but occasionally it means being seemingly wasteful in doing something that doesn't make much sense financially but is an act of worship and love much like the woman in Mark 14. She poured a very expensive bottle of perfume on Jesus' head and was criticized as wasting what could have much more logically been used to help the poor.

I am not against frugal living. In fact, I'm all about frugal. But I just had to share here what God is stretching me in lately: to walk by faith in being frugal and in being fragrant.

I do believe that God desires that we are worshipful in our management of money, when we're being frugal and when we're doing something ridiculously expensive as unto the Lord like the woman in Mark 14. For in John 12:3 we see that this woman's anti-frugal fragrant act of worship filled the whole house with the scent of the spikenard. Everyone in nose-reach experienced the alluring fragrance of Jesus through her 'wasteful' worship.

When we are worshipful in our management of money people will be drawn, like a hungry person smelling a barbecue, to our Lord. They may be critical, but they'll be curious.

Okay, now that I got that off my heart, here are my 10 Tips for frugal living:

  1. Give thanks to God every time you withdraw or spend money. Take time to acknowledge that every penny you have is provided by Him.
  2. Give from the heart cheerfully to those who serve up spiritual food to you, i.e. your local church, a radio ministry you're encouraged by, etc.
  3. Give to those in need as you are led. "He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, and He will pay back what he has given." -Proverbs 19:17
  4. Make yourself "poor" (see Proverbs 13:7). Don't live high off the hog. This is really what I see as the Biblical essence of frugal living. Even if you have the extra cash, choose to buy second hand or at discount stores or sale items only.
  5. Let your husband's leadership be a guide for your spending and saving. If your husband prefers that the cracked tiles and chipping Formica stay that way and chooses to buy a new guitar... see it as God's will. Rejoice in the new guitar and forget about the cracked tiles. Worship the Lord with the guitar! (This is a personal example of how God's teaching me to apply that "wasteful" worship to my life.) If your husband would prefer steak dinner, but the budget only allows for chicken soup, make the steak dinner, thank God for how He'll provide, and make yourself "poor" in some other area, maybe in delaying getting new makeup, perfume, fall wardrobe updates, etc.
  6. Shop for groceries according to what's in season and what's on sale.
  7. Use Google to search for recipes to make what you find on sale.
  8. Use large cuts of meat, such as chuck roast or whole chickens, to make sandwiches rather than lunch meat. Lunch meat costs about 3-6 dollars per pound whereas whole chickens cost about 49 cents per pound and chuck roast about $1.49/lb.
  9. Ride your bike or walk with your kids to local markets or to the library or the gym if you can. In other words use your car less.
  10. Make soups and homemade cookies and snacks rather than store bought ones. Go here for some recipes I've been using lately.

Thanks e-mom for hosting this topic! For more frugal tips head over to Marriage Monday at Chrysalis!

A word of life for someone today

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our
Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and
godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by
which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that
through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the
corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very
reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to
knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if
these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in
the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is
shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his
old sins.
-2 Peter 1:2-9

It's not knowing what a terrible sinner I am that keeps me from growing mature in Christ; that keeps me from adding to my faith the character of Christ. It's forgetting that I've been cleansed from my sins which keeps me from growing mature in Christ and adding to my faith the character of Christ.

Are you stuck in a circular pattern of the same sins and habits and ways that seem to have always plagued you? You believe in Jesus and you are touched and even weep at how kind and good He is to you, knowing you don't deserve it, knowing what a sinner you are, but you just can't seem to get past these habits and past this manner you've always had.
Listen: You aren't lacking in knowing you're a sinner and in knowing that Jesus is undeservedly good to you. You are lacking in remember and believing that you have been cleansed from those sinful ways. Those ways that you walk in so naturally... Jesus washed them from you with His blood. Meditate on what Christ has done for You, on who HE says you are, not what you know about yourself already. You know you're a sinner. True. You know you have this way about you that you hate and that it's wrong and that Jesus is good to you despite it. True. But you've forgotten that God no longer assesses you according to your nature. You've forgotten that you are not your natural self anymore. You've forgotten that you've been cleansed, made new, forever!

Read Ephesians 1 this week. Just read it over and over and over. Meditate on it. Pray it out. Write it down. Speak it out loud. Remember it. Believe it. I promise you according to God's word in 2 Peter 1, that it's in remembering this truth about who you are in Christ that you will find yourself, "... giving all diligence..." to add to your faith virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.

I truly believe this is a word of life for someone today! It is for me. I need to remember!

How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with
every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we belong to
Christ. Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us
in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. His unchanging plan
has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself
through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure. So we praise God
for the wonderful kindness he has poured out on us because we belong to his
dearly loved Son. He is so rich in kindness that he purchased our freedom
through the blood of his Son, and our sins are forgiven. He has showered his
kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. God's secret plan has
now been revealed to us; it is a plan centered on Christ, designed long ago
according to his good pleasure. And this is his plan: At the right time he
will bring everything together under the authority of Christ-everything in
heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because of Christ, we have received an
inheritance from God, for he chose us from the beginning, and all things
happen just as he decided long ago. God's purpose was that we who were the
first to trust in Christ should praise our glorious God. And now you also
have heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in
Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he
promised long ago. The Spirit is God's guarantee that he will give us everything
he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. This is just one
more reason for us to praise our glorious God. - Ephesians 1:3-14 NLT

Hebrews Thirteen Three Sunday

I just want to take some time each Sunday morning to post about and pray about my brothers and sisters in hostile nations. My heart is this: Every Sunday (or almost every Sunday) I take my sons to worship Jesus with our friends without any fear of ANYTHING! Oftentimes while I'm singing or taking in the teaching of the Word I look around and I get pictures in my mind of huddle up peoples in Iran or North Korea, China or Indonesia, meeting in secret to sing with their friends, songs of praise to Jesus and to hear the treasured Word of God.

It's my prayer that we in America would be so united in spirit with Christ's body around the world that when we worship through song and the teaching of the Word we would be remembering those in prison and those who are mistreated for worshipping Jesus.

So this morning as I get ready to go to church I'm thinking of the body in North Korea.

The Persecution Blog has this post concerning North Korea:

Today I wanted to share with you an article from Voice of America
has an article detailing the persecution in North Korea. Here's a snip from that

Religious and human rights groups estimate that
150,000 to 200,000 people are believed to be held in political prison camps in
remote areas of North Korea, some for religious reasons. Prison conditions are
harsh, and refugees and defectors who have been in prison said that prisoners
held on the basis of their religious beliefs generally are treated worse than
other inmates.

Rather than allowing for religious freedom, the North
Korean regime continues to promote a cult of personality surrounding leader Kim
Jong-il and his father. The practice remains an important ideological
underpinning of the regime, at times resembling tenets of a state religion.

If you are not already praying for North Korea on a daily
basis, please begin. Can you imagine what that country will look like once
Christians have their freedom. It could be amazing! Pray much, pray up and pray

In my free monthly newsflyer from VOM I read about North Korea. As I read I thought, "Wow! Here I thought the stories like that of Daniel under the captivity of Nebuchadnezzar were thousands of years old. They're not! They're present day!" In North Korea, when people walk by a giant statue (idol) of their dictator and his father, they are expected to bow in worship before it. Their children are taught hymns about the dictatorship and every house is expected to hang pictures of their rulers on their walls, idolizing them. I read about one woman's story of coming to know Jesus through the prayers of her uncle in China. And the ensuing torture she endured at the hands of the government in prison simply for reading a Bible in secret in her own home.

There are more like that woman still in North Korea today. This very hour they may be singing and praying in prison just like Paul and Silas and they may be being tortured and abused too.

Let's sing with them and pray with them this morning! For we are ONE body!

Father, I pray that You would stir the hearts of the guards and captors who abuse and torture your saints in prisons in North Korea today. I pray you would stir their hearts to see Your power and Your love for them. I pray You would so reveal Yourself to those who are mistreated that they would be able to endure withs songs and with prayer and not loose heart. Be their food. Be their comfort. Be their pain relief. Be their friend. Be their light. Be their confidence!

Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; preserve me from violent
men, who plan evil things in their heart and stir up wars continually. -
Psalm 140:1

****Resources to make you aware:

This is an amazing work! Here's a video about it:

Thanks to Open Doors for all this wonderful information and oppurtunity concerning North Korea.

Recipe share

I don't know about you but I start running dry on how many ways to cook chicken legs/thighs about every two weeks.

I use google to search for recipes all the time.

Lately I've been on a soup kick. I thought I'd share the links to a few of the recipes I've made lately. They've been deee lish!

  • Banana Banana Bread (I know, that's not soup! But I had some really ripe bananas that needed usin') Really, really yummy! The loaf was gone by the end of the day!
  • The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies (Okay, I know, we're still not talkin soup!) My kids always ask for sugar cookies when we go into Walmart so I promised I'd make 'em some. And they were a hit! I'm still a Chocolate Chip cookie gal, but these are really scrumptious too!
  • Lentil Soup- I didn't make this exactly according to the recipe. I used regular canola oil instead of olive oil. I used regular table salt instead of kosher salt. I used a can of chopped tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes. And I didn't use any of the grains of paradise (I have no idea where to find that!). But the soup still turned out really well! I loved it. My kids wouldn't touch it, but my husband thought it was tasty too! I give it 4 stars out of 5!
  • Ultimate Great Northern Beans- I also did some substituting with this one. I used canned chopped tomatoes instead of ro-tel. I used have a package of chopped up bacon instead of the pork jowl. I thought it turned out very, very yummy and so did my husband. I thought it tasted like a MUCH better, homemade version of Campbell's bean and bacon soup. The kids, again, not much for soups I don't think unless it's Ramen. I'm gonna have to work on broadening their taste-scape.
  • Split Pea Soup- I just made this last night. Here are my substitutes: I didn't use a leak. I couldn't see paying $4 for a vegetable! I just can't do it! Instead of the herb bouquet I used 4 cloves of garlic crushed, 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of ground thyme, and 2 teaspoons of dry parsley flakes. I just took out the bay leaves at the end of cooking. I also used two smoked ham neck bones rather than the two ham hocks. It gave a nice smoky flavor to the soup. But I had to really be sure to strain the soup well at the end to get any floating bones out. My husband hasn't tried this one yet, he's not much for split pea, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it! I did get my oldest to try it and, drumroll please... HE LIKES IT!!!

What about you? Got any recipes or recipe links you want to share?

Even if some do not: Study #4

Well it's been way too long between study #3 and this study, #4, to call this a blog post series. Much has been on my heart, but I continue to want to come back to this study. The living out of it is my primary challenge and calling, yet I do enjoy when I get to write down some of what the Lord is teaching me through my failings and victories.

I was just wanting to come in here and do a sit down study on quietness and submission as a continuation of the #3 study about a sojourning wife's adorning, but the need to finish painting my bathroom took priority. So instead, I turned to one of my favorite Bible teachers, Jon Courson, at the Searchlight website and just outta curiosity looked to see if he had a teaching there on 1 Peter 3:1-6. And he did! So I loaded it up (it's an old one from 1995 but very applicable now as God's word always is) and listened while I painted. Boy was I blessed, challenged, convicted and encouraged!

Quickly, a couple things he mentions in the teaching concerning quietness and submission and adorning (this will be study #4 from me, just sharing what really spoke to me from this teaching), and then I'd encourage you to go listen to the full teaching yourself, and if you have the right programs and such on your computer and the time I'd encourage you to watch the video version of it. Here are the link to the teaching and a couple a quick points he made:

  1. The Link: 1 Peter 3:1-6 by Jon Courson from 5-15-96

  2. Submission:

    Jon Courson shares that the example from which we can more fully understand what this submission looks like in a wife's life as it relates to her husband is
    Sarah, according what the Spirit wrote through Peter. He shares the
    example from the Old Testament where Sarah called Abraham "lord" as Peter
    refers to in 1 Peter 3. It's in Genesis 18 where Sarah laughs at the
    prophecy from the three "men" who are visiting with Abraham while she's eaves dropping in the tent about her conceiving and bearing a son. In verse 12, after getting busted about laughing she says, "After I have grown old, shall I
    have pleasure, my lord being old also?" Pastor Jon shares how in this example a woman can learn that just because she may think that what her husband wants to do, or the direction he's taking is ridiculous, even laughable, she can honor her husband, and bring blessing to her family through reverencing
    him as the "lord" of her home.

  3. Adorning:

The word in this text is cosmos and it means to be ordered. Like the
universe, the cosmos, are in order. The order of a "sojourning wife's"
(that's my term not pastor Jon's) life is to primarily be her inner person not
her outer appearance. Pastor Jon shares that Peter isn't saying in this
passage that a woman shouldn't fix her hair or do her makeup or wear clothes,
he's saying that a woman shouldn't make those things her "cosmos", her
world. Her world should not revolve around what she's wearing or how she's
looking. He goes on to say, "The priority of a woman, according to
the Bible...very simple, the priority of her life, is to be standing by her man, and to be focusing on her inner person

  1. Quietness:

    "Wives, here's what your to work on. Not your...spring wardrobe...it should be not high on the list... God says... here is what you are to work on. The fashionable woman in the eyes of the Lord, is cultivating a meek and a quiet spirit. That's what's in style for eternity. The older I get the more I don't listen to people who talk a lot. I value the counsel, I listen carefully to people who are not always talking endlessly and have opinions about everyone and everything. Women. Your husbands won't tell you this. But I will. Here's how to weary your man. Chatter. Talk incessantly. Share your opinions and your thoughts and your ideas and the latest gossip and the tidbits and why your mad at this and why you don't agree with that and what this person's doing and what that neighbor said and just keep on chattering. You'll drive him crazy! Now God says gals that you are to be cultivating diligently a meek and a quiet spirit. You may say, 'That's not the way I am!' And I will say, 'God didn't save you to keep you the way that you are. He saved you to remake you into the image of His Son. To make you a godly woman!" (from Jon
    Courson's teaching)

Learning God's heart through Rosh-Hashana: Remembering what He's done and how He feels about me

Yesterday was Rosh Hashana. I've been studying the Biblical holidays with my sons, starting with Passover this year. In Passover, Unleavened Bread, and the Feast of Weeks I could really see Jesus... His fulfillment of these feasts is fairly obvious to me and exciting, because I can see God's story woven through HIStory and these special times God set aside for Israel.

But when it came to Rosh Hashana I was having a hard time. I read about how Rosh Hashana and the other fall holidays are those that have yet to be fulfilled in God's prophetic time line and it seems true to me, yet I prayed that the Lord would reveal to me something of Himself through this holiday.

Through A Family Guide to Biblical Holidays and scripture I learned that the shofar (a ram's horn) is sounded on Rosh Hashana and that Psalm 81 is read by the Jews on Rosh Hoshana. So, having no real inspiration about what I could do to learn of Jesus on this day and to teach Him to my sons through this day I decided to simply read Psalm 81 to my boys and listen to the sound of a shofar online, and then to just think on these things all day. Amazing how simply doing these few things really gave me an ear to hear the Lord.

As I sat down with my boys and read Psalm 81 I was struck by the heart of God. God emotes. God feels. God remembers. God loves us so tenderly, so vulnerably.

My boys were to draw a picture of something they heard me read, but they kept asking to hear the psalm again, four times, so that by the time I finished reading the fourth installment of Psalm 81 I was really sensing, at least in part, the Spirit's purpose and how God is revealed in Rosh Hoshana.

The psalm begins saying, "Sing... blow the trumpet..." Why? "This He established in Joseph as a testimony..."

God's testifying through this holiday. What is the testimony?

In verses 5-10 God says the testimony He established in this memorial of trumpets holiday (Leviticus 23:24) is remembering God's presence and deliverance.

He says this is the thing He wants His people to remember on a day when trumpets are blowing and people are singing and shouting joyfully to God:

  • That HE went through the land of Egypt where His people didn't understand the language.
  • That HE removed the burden from their shoulders and freed their hands from carrying baskets (as slaves).
  • That He delivered and answered when His people called to Him in their trouble, and that He tested them at Meribah (Exodus 17:1-7).
Why does God want His people to remember in the setting of blowing trumpets, singing and shouting? Because He wants to teach them. (Don't kids learn better when there's music and something dramatic involved like a real loud horn!?)
"Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you!" (Psalm 81:8a)
And in the verses to follow I hear God's pleading heart. The heart of a father or mother longing for their wayward child to come home. The heart of a lover betrayed, a spouse rejected.

"O Israel, if you would listen to Me!" (Psalm 81:8b)

Listen to what? LISTEN to this: Get rid of and stop worshipping foreign gods! (Psalm 81:9) Because God is the One who delivered this people, He's the One who fed them, not their man-made gods.

"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt; open your
mouth wide and I will fill it." (Psalm 81:10)

This celebratory holiday fast becomes "our solemn feast" (Psalm 81:3) as you read through Psalm 81.

Why is it solemn? Because God's people are singing and blowing trumpets and God is grieved crying, "But My people would not heed My voice, and Israel would have none of Me." (Psalm 81:11)

And with the heart of a husband who truly loves his wife God will not impose His desire to be loved and remembered against His peoples' will. He lets them go, "So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, to walk in their own counsels." (Psalm 81:12)

But He holds out a longing hope, "Oh that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways! I would soon subdue their enemies, and turn My hand against their adversaries."

God here is painting the picture He painted through Hosea's prophetic life. His people have played the harlot and He has been longsuffering towards them like a faithful husband. His love for them burns with jealousy, a righteous jealousy, for He knows only destruction awaits them when He gives them over to their own ways. But He is God, He is not a fallen husband. So though His people have committed adultery against their God, worshipping the work of their own hands, God says,
"Therefore, behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns, and wall her in, so
that she cannot find her paths. She will chase her lovers, but not overtake
them; yes, she will seek them, but not find them. Then she will say, 'I will go
and return to my first husband, for then it was better for me than now.'" (Hosea 2:6-7)
Just as a sounding shofar wakes up someone asleep, warns someone in danger, rallies warriors, and ushers in a trembling that sets the tone for awe-filled worship of God, Psalm 81 is a solemn reminder that God is faithful and we His people, have not been. It's a wake up call to the danger of being one who pretends submission to the LORD, yet really is a hater of Him (Psalm 81:15).

The holy sound of the shofar combined with the reading of Psalm 81 reveals to me at least some of why this is considered a new year celebration for the Jews. There is a new beginning which happens when you remember the unfailing covenant of God's love and what it cost Him to rescue you and at the same time you see how you have left loving God for loving what you can do for yourself. There's tension. There's fear because you know you deserve condemnation for your spiritual adultery against God but He doesn't give it to you. There's awe because God's love for you is so pure that He'll reject you for a time, allowing His chastisement to come against you, not so that you will be condemned but so that you will run to Him again!

I read this from Ann at Holy Experience yesterday in her remembering during Rosh Hoshana:

Remembering sins grieves, but doesn’t the joy of His
covenantal, always, unwavering, right-to-the-end, love wipes away the tears?
Our shortcomings cripple, but doesn’t the joy of the Lord
strengthen these bent and weary bones?
The solemnness of this feast comes from remembering that damage is done, God is grieved, chastisement comes because of our sin, yet there is joy amidst the tears because the One we have hurt allures us to Him again!

At the Biblical Holidays website I read this:

The sages of the Jerusalem Talmud (Rosh Hashanah 1:3) say, “Normally, someone
standing in judgment would dress somberly, cloaking himself in black robes and
not trim his beard. After all, he does not know how it will turn out. Israel is
different, though. We dress in white and cloak ourselves in white and trim our
beards and eat and drink and are joyous for we know that God will do miracles
for us. Being judged by God is at once an awesome thing — He knows all — but He
is a merciful God. Even judgment itself need not be devoid of joy (Talmud Rosh
Hashanah 1:3).

Only God's people can find joy even in the trembling, holy fear of God's merciful judgement. For the judgement on His people is not condemnation, it is the rebuke from a God who loves us like a perfect Husband and perfect Father.
"For your Maker is your husband,
The LORD of hosts is His name;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;
He is called the God of the whole earth.
For the LORD has called you
Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit,
Like a youthful wife when you were refused," Says your
"For a mere moment I have forsaken you,
But with great mercies I will gather you.
With a little wrath I hid
My face from you for a moment;
But with everlasting kindness
I will have mercy on you, " Says the LORD, your Redeemer.
Isaiah 54:5-8

Rosh Hashana is a time of "Woe is me, for I am undone!..." (Isaiah 6:5)
The Feast of Trumpets is a time of, "Take words with you, and return to the LORD. Say to Him, 'Take away all iniquity; receive us graciously..." (Hosea 14:2)
This Jewish new year is a time of rejoicing in the merciful judgment of God on His own people because it shows that we are His and that He loves us.
For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of
God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not
obey the gospel of God?...Therefore let those who suffer according to the will
of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
-1 Peter 4:17,19
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.
- Jesus (Revelation 3:19)
My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be
discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the LORD loves He chastens,
and scourges every son whom He receives.
If you endure
chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father
does not chasten?...Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but
painful; nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to
those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:5-7,11

Rosh Hashana is a truth of spiritual life in Jesus, of living as a sojourner, as a jar of clay with a priceless treasure inside. As we walk with Him there must be regular times of remembrance when we draw near to God in humility and go from that time lifted up by Him. For first must come:
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse
your hands you sinners; and purify your hearts you double-minded.
Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy
to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you
up. - James 4:8-10
Then can come:
Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions
to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord.
Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength- Nehemiah 8:10
My First Love I come to You with weeping words. I have been Gomer to You who have been Hosea to me. When I was young I loved you like a fiance. I was kind towards you. I went after You even when there was no abundance in me...when I was like a wilderness...wild, and overgrown with weeds and barren from neglect. But then I went ahorring. I left You , my first love, for the insatiable lust of my flesh and feelings. You have been faithful though I have been foul! You have allured me. You have brought me back into the wilderness and spoken comfort to me. Revive me even now! Awaken me from sleep! Blow in my ears like a shofar!

Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Go and cry in the ears of
Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy
youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the
wilderness, in a land that was not sown.
Jeremiah 2:1-2

To learn more about the Biblical Holidays go here.

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