God’s Surprise for Women Part II

(Continued from Part I)

We need to tell the truth of what we really want, NOT just what we think the other wants to hear. This can become very dangerous, ending up doing what neither wants to do, because we so want to do what we “think” the other wants to do. This is the opposite extreme of each wanting their own way but can be just as dangerous to a marriage.  I think of a special weekend in Seattle, years ago, where this lesson was implanted on my heart. We had gone to Seattle to stay in a lovely hotel and have some time together. Each of us asked the other what we would like to do that first evening. I came up with the thought, why don’t we each say what we “really” want to do, not what we think the other person wants to do. We don’t have to do it, but it would be fun to just hear what it is. So I said, “I have brought along the new Christmas catalogs and I would REALLY like to just cozy up on the bed and look at the catalog.” I said, the truth instead of saying, “I would really like to walk the waterfront and look at the marine stores.” (Which I thought he was wanting to do). Then he said, “Well, I would really like to watch a certain ball game that is on the TV right now”. So that surprised us both and we stayed in the room, me looking at the Christmas catalog and he watching a ball game and we were both happy. Much better than doing something neither of us wanted to do- just because we “thought” that was what the other wanted to do.

Ok, so we do say, “These are the feelings in the subject/ problem, but I will do whatever you think best. I just wanted you to know how I am feeling.” Then, our husband does make a decision- different from the one we wanted and suggested- and it does go badly. What do we do then? Keep your mouth shut and don’t say “I told you so”. He will know, and perhaps the next time- or many times later- he might consider your opinion more.

Another reason to submit is an example to our children to respect their father.

I Tim 3:4 talks about keeping children submissive and respectful in every way. And Romans 13:1 talks about submitting to governing authorities. Our example can teach our children to be submissive and respectful in both of these areas.

Another result is harmony in the family.

Mothers- don’t ridicule your husband privately with your children. We do not say, “Your father is a jerk but we will do what he wants anyway.” Submission brings harmony- not fighting to see whose will, will win. Let your respect for their father rub off on your children.

Try not to argue or dispute in front of the children. Try to handle disputes and arguments privately. Don’t put your children in the position of choosing sides. And also of hearing hurtful words that you might not really mean but which will go into the child like a dagger in their heart. Provide an atmosphere where joy and fun prevail and where friends are welcome.

The opposite of the submissive wife is the “contentious woman”. We read of her in Proverbs 21:10, Prov. 21:19, Prov. 25:24, and Prov. 27:15. It isn’t fun for anyone to live around them. They think they are misunderstood and they never think of themselves as being contentious. It’s always someone else’s fault.

By being submissive we give it to God and are free to have harmony and love prevail in our home. By submitting to God it is easier to submit to our husband, or the reverse could also be true…By submitting to our husband it is easier to submit to God, depending upon where we are in our relationship with God. I think of a quote of Abraham Lincoln where the gist of it was: “It is not the things in the Bible that I don’t understand that give me trouble, it is the DOING of the things I do understand that is hard.”

God gives us a command but doesn’t go into WHY we should do what He says. The book, “None of These Diseases” by S.I. McMillen, gives us good examples of the “why” of things God says. Ex. 15:26 reads, “If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord your God and do that which is right in his eyes and give need to his commandments and keep all his statues, I will put none of the diseases upon you which I put upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord, your healer.”

In McMillen’s book he states many of the commands the Lord just gave to the Israelites without explaining why. It is interesting to me that today, science is finding out the “why” of many of God’s commands. One example is found on pages 84-85 of that book. Lev. 7:22 reads, “Say to the people of Israel, You shall eat not fat of ox or sheep or goat.” Then McMillen goes on to say, “Many recent scientific studies show that the important agents that increase dangerous cholesterol in the blood are: 1. Eating fat of animals 2. Overweight 3. Smoking 4. Carnal emotions and stress. He says, “Happy as we are with the fact that medical science has arrived, we may be amazed to discover that our ultramodern research is about 3,500 years behind the Book of books.”

Many of the things I learned in this book, emphasize the fact to me that God does not tell all the “whys” of submission, He just says to do it. That is where I think the great surprise comes in for us as we take him literally at his word. We can learn from this also: If we obey what God is telling us to do as wives, we don’t have the problems the world around us is having. This could be misunderstood but I feel the joy and love and strength and unity we have personally felt as a family, has a great deal to do with submission. As I obeyed and submitted, God blessed our family.

OK, we obey God’s word and our husband in what we feel could be a precarious situation. Can God intercede for us and protect us. I think that Sarah can be our example here. I think this is one of the greatest keys to the mystery of submission and we need to look at Sarah and her life and see how we can learn from her. When we have practiced DOING in other verses we are able to DO the hardest thing for women- Submit. (Blindly sometimes, thinking, it isn’t fair, it doesn’t make sense. But God says DO IT and I believe HIM).

What can we learn from Sarah? I Peter 3:5-6 says: “So once the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves and were submissive to their husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord. And now you are her children if you do right and let nothing terrify you.”

We can be terrified to submit. Thinking: I am afraid if I obey my husband on this crazy thing he wants to do:

  1. We will go broke financially
  2. We will lose our house
  3. We will have to move
  4. It is too much of a risk
  5. What will my friends think?
  6. What will the future hold?
  7. What if, What if, What if, What if….

What did Sarah do? What did she have to risk? Had she reason to be terrified?

We know Sarah was a woman of strong faith. In Heb. 11:11 it says: “By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, SINCE SHE CONSIDERED HIM FAITHFUL WHO HAD PROMISED.” We can learn from Sarah that God is faithful to his promises and all the verses we have talked about are his promises.

Let’s look at Sarah. One of her first real tests in obedience and submission is recorded in Gen. 12:10-20. Let us read that portion out loud and consider how Sarah might have been feeling. How do you think Sarah felt being brought into the Pharaoh’s palace? Here we can learn a great lesson. She was obedient to Abraham. She did this to protect him. I’m sure she could have thought this was a crazy plan. Knew what could have happened to her. Perhaps even thought Abraham was a weak man to put her in this danger.

Can you believe what Abraham says in Gen. 12:13- he is certainly thinking only of his welfare and not Sarah’s. “Say you are my sister so that it may go well with ME, and MY life will be spared.” (To me the unsaid thoughts are: “I don’t really care if you are afraid, or may be raped in the Pharaoh’s palace, but my life will be spared.”)

Sarah obeyed the craziest of schemes, She could have been in great danger, BUT God protected her and interceded for her and because she trusted God and had faith in him she was not terrified. We know this because the I Peter verses and a glimpse that it gives us into her heart. We too need the same confidence, that if we obey our husband on crazy schemes, the Lord will protect us. Also remembering Romans 8:28, “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”

Also, Matthew 16:25 “For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

You tell your husband in love your feelings and your ideas and plans but that you will concede to his. We read Genesis 20 that Abraham again repeated his sin. He had not learned his lesson, but Sarah again obeyed and God again interceded for Sarah.

In Gen. 20:11 Abraham says, “he thought” and he rationalized.

If we are obedient and our husband’s decision is a mistake, I really believe God will bless us for our obedience and protect us from the results of the mistake. If Sarah is our example we will not be terrified to submit. Submission can be terrifying, thinking of the “what ifs”. LOOK BEYOND WHAT IF and consider Isaiah 26:3 “Thou dost keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.”


I challenge you to really try, even harder than you are perhaps trying- to give Biblical Submission a total try. Then evaluate it honestly. Share what happened. Was it good or bad? Do you want to continue or do you have a better plan? Think about these verses:

Psalms 34:8 “Oh, taste and see what the Lord is good”

Ephesians 5:8-10 “Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord”

Malachi 3:10 “Thereby put me to the test” (We are told in Deut 6:16 and Is. 7:12 and other verses that we are not to put God to the test. But Mal. 3:10 implies we are to test his promises,)

Try them- test them and know with Sarah, that WE CONSIDER HIM FAITHFUL WHO HAS PROMISED.

In Heb. 12:11 we read regarding discipline: “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

So it is with submission. It may seem painful at the moment but if we continue we see that it later yields the “Peaceful fruit of love” to those who follow God’s teaching on the subject.


If you will have courage to be a “doer of the word” regarding Submission, you will be in for the greatest surprise of your life- much different than anything you every anticipated.


God’s Surprise for Women (Part I)

I am preparing this lesson in March of 2003, almost 10 years after the Lord first gave me some very clear thoughts on Biblical Submission. This lesson is in the middle of 3 lessons/ classes I am giving on the subject. At the last lesson I have you some thoughts and letters written by two women who were in that first class in the early 90’s. They had never heard the subject of Submission taught. Their marriages were falling apart and they felt “why not try it- nothing else had helped”.

Both women are now in the midst of very happy family situations. One just had her 5th child and the second is expecting her 5th. They both credit the understanding of Submission as the reason their marriages came back together. This is a quote from one of the women: “I didn’t really believe that my husband would ever get saved. I am not sure how to put this, because Matt’s salvation is not a result of anything I did, but I think it would be safe to say that God used the submission that he Lead me in- in Matt’s life. Praise Him.” They both went on to learn and study Biblical Submission, and I think took the teachings much further than I had gone.

In our next class I am sharing some thoughts of my daughter Becky and her husband Jim on “The Power of Agreement”. They don’t even use the word “Submission”. They have a very happy marriage and family and minister together around the world. The teaching I shall give you today, I believe, is truly in the middle of the lesson I have given, and the one I will give next time.

Some I think have wondered why I dont use some of the many books that are out there on the subject of Submission. But I feel strongly that the Lord would have me only share what I have learned from my own experience or what He has given me directly. I will clarify this by saying that I will use the thoughts in a book “if” they are in line with what the Lord has given me, and with scripture, and what has been true in my life in whatever particular struggle they are sharing. I love Dr. Dobson’s books and many other reliable authors. However, I feel with the subject of Submission, I shall mainly share what the Lord has shown me, and my personal struggles with this important issue.

Oswald Chamber’s Devotional Book, “My Utmost for His Highest” is one of the devotional books I use each day. I love what he says in his Dec. 15 message, and to me it relates to my giving my own lessons on the subject of Submission and not the thoughts of someone else. This is what it says in part:

“Strive to re-express a truth of God to yourself clearly and understandably, and God will use that same explanation when you share it with someone else. But, you must be willing to go through God’s winepress where the grapes are crushed….Then the time will come when that very expression will become God’s wine of strength to someone else. But if you are not diligent and say, “I am not going to study and struggle to express this truth in my own words; I’ll just borrow my words from someone else,” then the words will be of no value to you or to others…. Your position is not really yours until you make it yours through suffering and study.”

Another devotional book I use each day is “God at Eventide” and part of the message for Jan. 4 says: “Direct their attention from earth’s allures and mirages to Me, your Companion of the Way. Tell them of your Joy in Me.” Yes, what the world is saying about women’s roles is a mirage. In Webster a mirage is defined as “something one accepts as true but is actually false. A misleading of the mind. Deceiving.”

I also base my teaching on Titus 2:3-5 which also says in part, “and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be sensible, chaste, domestic, kind and submissive to their husbands, that the word of God may not be discredited.” When I hear women say, “Those thoughts are for Bible times only and not for today, I think of Hebrews 13:8 which says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

We all hear in various forms of the media about the “Powerful Women” and “Enlightened Men”. Yes, we need enlightened men, but there is a better way to bring them to that point that being a powerful women. If men had followed God’s plan for their role as husbands there wouldn’t have been a need for a women’s revolution. Yes, men are becoming more aware and sensitive, but that is what God had wanted from the beginning. Now we hear of the powerful women and those who are not spoken of with derision. “Stays in the kitchen”, “Home Baking Cookies”, “Standing by her Man” are all said with the feeling that if you do those things you are a brainless, unthinking doormat who only says, “Yes, Sir”.

But let us look at God’s example of a good wife in Proverbs 31. We will read out loud verses 10-31. We need to read this once in awhile when we become brainwashed. What do we see about this woman:

  1. She is anything but a brainless woman
  2. She is strong physically
  3. She has her own business
  4. She considers a field and buys it (This implies such a partnership with her husband that he trusts her to make important financial decisions)
  5. She opens her mouth with wisdom (This implies that she does have brains and something to offer.)
  6. Her husband trusts her
  7. Her children respect her
  8. Her husband praises her

There are 21 verses of this Proverb telling the wonderful qualities of this women. Is there such a chapter praising the qualities of a good man? With 21 verses? God was not prejudice against women- as the world leads us to believe.

Some other thoughts about the Proverbs 31 woman. We know she was submissive or she wouldn’t have been put as an example. For New Testament scripture would not contradict those truths. So we also see that she was:

  1. Submissive to her OWN husband. Not other women’s husbands and not men in general.
  2. She was not a submissive business woman
  3. She was not a submissive runner of the household
  4. She was not a submissive, passive woman in her dress
  5. She opened her mouth in wisdom and not passiveness

The world likes to picture the “Submissive” woman as meek, drab a little, who wears dull colors, speaks when spoken to, and has no opinions of her own. We are to be submissive to our husbands, but we can be in control of other areas of our lives. It truly does take a strong woman to try to be submissive to her husband. But there is a secret to being that kind of women and having that kind of relationship with our husbands. Let’s find it in what the Bible tells us. It seems to be a mystery.

I personally love mysteries. I have read all of Agatha Christie’s books and also own the entire collection. I love to find clues and solve mysteries. It becomes a challenge to me. Let’s look at Submission as one of God’s mysteries that he wants us to discover. He likes to challenge our thinking. Jesus often spoke in parables rather than just coming out with what he meant.

Daniel 2:28 says, “There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.” And I love Daniel 2:20-23 which says in part: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for he alone has all wisdom and all power. 21 World events are under his control. He removes kings and sets others on their thrones. He gives wise men their wisdom and scholars their intelligence. 22 He reveals profound mysteries beyond man’s understanding. He knows all hidden things, for he is light, and darkness is no obstacle to him. 23 I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers, for you have given me wisdom and glowing health, and now even this vision of the king’s dream and the understanding of what it means.”

Ephesians 5:31-33 says,  “31 (That the husband and wife are one body is proved by the Scripture, which says, “A man must leave his father and mother when he marries so that he can be perfectly joined to his wife, and the two shall be one.”)32 I know this is hard to understand, but it is an illustration of the way we are parts of the body of Christ. 33 So again I say, a man must love his wife as a part of himself; and the wife must see to it that she deeply respects her husband—obeying, praising, and honoring him.”

Ephesians 6:19 says “And also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel.”

Webster tells us that a mystery is something beyond “human” comprehension. In strictest use- “implies the things incapacity for comprehension by human reason.” I love that implying that humanly we cant discover this mystery. But with Godly wisdom we can.

Ephesians 5:21 “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Yes, we are to be subject to each other but someone has to take the lead. This makes me recall a story/ fable I once heard, about a women pregnant with twins. Everyday she prayed that she would have the most polite twins in the world. Then she never had her babies. And many years later she died an old woman. Upon cutting her open they found two tiny little old men, each saying “No you first, no you first, no you first”. Dumb story, but you get the point.

As we read Ephesians 5:22-33, as wives we love particularly verses 25-33 which says in part: “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her… even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” But how do we get that cycle started that our husbands will treat us in this way. We all know couples who say, “I’ll love her in that way when she start submitting”, and “I’ll start submitting when he loves me in that way.” We can only be responsible for our own actions- not our husbands. We as wives can take the positive steps toward “getting the ball rolling” even if we do not “feel” like it.

We can….

  1. “Show” respect
  2. “Show” love
  3. “Submit” in action if not in heart

Make the effort- get the process in motion. Once in motion his love will soften your heart so that you will “want” to submit- not just in action but in love and respect from the heart. We have the choice of being the one to first start- or being in a dead heat, each waiting for the other to start.

I think a powerful verse for husbands to consider if this, I Peter 3:7 “Likewise you husbands, live considerably with your wives, bestowing honor on the woman as the weaker sex, since you are joint heirs of the grace of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered.”

What this is saying to Christian husbands is if they do not treat their wives in the way God has said, their prayers will not be answered and that is very powerful. Ephesians 4:15-16 says, “15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” This is the same with marriage, when each part, husband and wife, is working properly (according to God’s principles) the marriage grows and builds up itself in love.

God shows us the way through scripture. He does have a plan. We need to read the instructions and follow and obey them. Then we will succeed.

Back to getting the wheel started… I had to learn to share my feelings in love. If we don’t do that bitterness occurs. Saying “this is how I feel, but I will do as you feel best.” We are then putting it into God’s court. By speaking the truth in love, and submitting to your husband, you are putting the wheel into motion.




(Continued in Part II)

Psalm 37

[Editors Note: This is an email written in 2013 to one of the many women around the world that Grandma Rosy and Papa prayed for. She was on the “Husband List” and enjoyed Grandma Rosy’s words of encouragement and testimonies of faith.]


I have to tell you that yes, I was the one you were to share with about the 37th Psalm. It is so precious to me. We were going thru a very hard time in 1983, financially, and facing a law suit, that was a year away in which we could have lost everything. Every day that year, before that trial I clung to that Psalm. I took a picture of that page in my Bible, and also the front and back of my raggy Bible, the most precious thing I own. At the bottom you might be able to read, I have written, “From the despair of 1983 to the JOY of 1988”. And see the passages that I marked that were so precious to me. Since we had no insurance, if we had lost that trial we would have lost our land, and that was the only thing we had then, so the words of vs. 33 [“The Lord will not abandon him to his power, or let him be condemned when brought to trial”] were very special and also the many times it said, “for the blessed by the Lord shall possess the Land”. We did win the trial, but had to pay $2,000 in attorney fees, which was a great amount for us at that time, but we still did “possess the land”.

But now as I read that Psalm I see different passages pop out that I think are for you. Verses:

4, “Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

5, “Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will act.”

7a, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”

23-24 “The steps of a man are from the Lord, and he establishes him in whose way he delights, though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord is the stay of his hand.”

28, “For the Lord loves justice; he will not forsake his saints.”

34a, “Wait for the Lord and keep to his way, and he will exalt you to possess the land.”

Oh, dear one, lift your heart and know that the Lord has something special for you this coming year. I loved your letter and read it outloud to Papa. We will be praying for you.

May you have a happy birthday tomorrow and may this new birthday year be filled with “glad surprises from the Lord.”

Much love,

Grandma Rosy and Papa Dick

IMG_1651 IMG_1661

June 12, 1996

(Editors Note: The following is an email sent from Grandma Rosy to an unknown recipient. I love how this email/ letter embodies Rosy’s generous and encouraging heart and desire to always make people feel welcome in her home. Even in the midst of losing loved ones, she was looking to serve and bless others.)


No, I haven’t forgotten about you or our possible day on the 20th. I have been living one day at a time since both my mother and Uncle Jay are nearing death. But now I am feeling I would rather plan toward the 20th and give you time to get a babysitter and then if the day before I need to cancel I will.

This is my heart’s desire. To have you all out here on the 20th. Perhaps coming at 10am. I desire it to be lovely sunny day, like it is this morning and for you to have a time of relaxation and peace and calm before your busy summer begins. We would have a little Bible Study in the morning and then lunch and then a time of sharing in the afternoon and then you would be free to go or stay as you wished. 

As I was thinking of having you enjoy my peaceful porch with the flowers and hummingbirds I was reminded of Isaiah 32:18 “My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings and in quiet resting places.” Then I was reminded of a study I had prepared and given before on “Peaceful Habitation” and thought that it would be very appropriate for the day you are out here. Talking about making our homes a place of peaceful habitation in the midst of children home from school, much activity in the summer and many stresses of various sort. The Lord is so good. I had been thinking that right now I didn’t have the time or concentration to prepare a study but as I looked at this old one I felt it was prefect and also had much that I had forgotten and needed to recall and remember for myself. 

At the beginning of the lesson I had written this: “Things helpful to me in healing with pressures of the moment-daily life.” Oh, yes, Lord I need help in that right now, with the pressures of the moment in my daily life. As I read the 9 points I thought they might be helpful to you gals also and decided to include them in this letter. So if it happens we cannot have the 20th, at least I feel I have given you something to hang onto. The 9 points were helpful to me this morning and I pray they might be so to you also. Here they are:

  1. Remember Romans 8:35-39 “Who then can ever keep Christ’s love from us? When we have trouble or calamity, when we are hunted down or destroyed, is it because he doesn’t love us anymore? And if we are hungry or penniless or in danger or threatened with death, has God deserted us?  No, for the Scriptures tell us that for his sake we must be ready to face death at every moment of the day—we are like sheep awaiting slaughter;  but despite all this, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us.  For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us.” Remember the THINGS PRESENT (the stresses of our everyday life) cannot separate us from the love of God. 
  2. When disaster starts happening remember:
    1. I Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
    2. Romans 8:28 “We know that in EVERYTHING God works for the good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”
  3. When you feel pressed in by pressures and do not feel peaceful, remember:
    1. Isaiah 26:3 “Thou dost keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, BECAUSE HE TRUSTS IN THEE.”
    2. John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
    3. Collosians 3:15 “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.”
  4. Start the day with the Lord. Write down all the things you THINK you have to do. Then ask him to show you a better way. 
  5. Remember Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Look at your list. How many of the things are you doing because of pride- be honest. Could you buy some cookies or cinnamon rolls instead of making a fancy dessert? Is it that special to the person or deep down do you love the compliments of being a great cook? Or could you make a simpler dish? (Jane- this is pretty good isn’t it and I must have forgotten. In regard to our conversation of my being sad because I didn’t get the raves I wanted. Oh, the Lord does have a sense of humor.) Also does the house have to be THAT clean or does EVERYTHING have to be done in the yard?
  6. In the midst of turmoil remember Psalm 22:2-3 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want; HE MAKES ME LIE DOWN IN GREEN PASTURES (Makes me think of this morning when I told Dick I was going to work a while in the house and lie in the sun and do a little more and then out to the sun again. Now I think I will tell him…THE LORD MAKES ME LIE DOWN IN GREEN PASTURES!!) He leads me besides still waters; he RESTORES MY SOUL (Oh, aren’t there times when our soul and spirit and body need restoring!). He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
  7. Admit your helplessness- that you are unable in your own strength. Remember: Matthew 9:36 “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, BECAUSE THEY WERE HARASSED AND HELPLESS, like sheep without a shepherd.” When you feel this way, allow Jesus to be your shepherd. He WILL guide you into paths of righteousness.
    1. Psalms 56:2b “I trust in the steadfast love of God for ever and ever”
    2. Isaiah 12:2 “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and WILL NOT BE AFRAID; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”

If the 20th will work for you lets plan that way. Coming here at 10am and having lunch here. 


Remembering our Grandma Rosy

Today marks one year since we said goodbye to our dear Grandma Rosy and she was welcomed into the arms of Jesus. This year has been challenging, beautiful, confusing, and full of sweet moments remembering her. Although holidays and special occasions came with a strong feeling that something was missing, our family continued to grow and point each other towards Christ as Grandma would do. We welcomed four sweet babies into the family (Oliver, Rosemary, Kayla & Theodore) and in just two short weeks we will welcome Per Øystein as Bryna’s husband… I cant even begin to imagine the joy this union would have brought Grandma Rosy. I know if she could attend the wedding she would have proudly wore her bunad and soaked up every bit of the Norwegian tradition while praising the Lord for the answer to many years of prayer.

There have been so many moments when I wanted to pick up the phone or send an email asking her opinion, advice, or for a few good verses. I didn’t know how much I relied on her until she was no longer there.  In this past year of reflecting on her life I have felt increasingly honored to have been in her life and that I got to call her Grandma Rosy (as so many people did). She was and is a gift.

Even though we miss her physical presence, I continue to see her in our family traditions, Papa’s sweet hugs, beautiful gardens, glad surprises, my recipe box, and a million memories that fill my thoughts. Thank goodness she wrote things down, because it is through her own words that she continues to bless our lives and relationships with God.

Here is the link to her memorial service if you want to reflect or have a good cry: link


We miss you Grandma Rosy.



Personal Growth- Quiet Time with God

In January Ann Kirby gave me a birthday card- Loved it! I love the verse on it and I love the picture. The more I look at it the more I see. The verse Isaiah 55:12- What a promise. We should grab onto it and claim it. I love the picture- the heart wreath, the basket with lace and flowers- the bouquet on the step- the angel- the key and the heart- the beautiful old door- old door knob and casing. (Editors note: actual image could not be found)

Isaiah 55:12 “You will go out in joy and peace. The mountains and hills, the trees of the field- all the world around you- will rejoice.”

The verse IS the KEY- to the peace we can have in our HEART…

Psalm 91:9-11 “Because you have made the Lord your refuge- the Most High your habitation, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. For he gives his ANGELS charge of you, to guard you in all your ways.”

He wants us to go out- from our devotion time- from our homes- IN JOY and BE LED FORTH in PEACE.

What a wonderful promise. Going out IN JOY (that joyful state of being)- then BEING LED. I love it!! We can be at peace- for no matter what comes in our life this day, He is leading us and we are following and not just charging out on our own. Not wondering what kind of mess will I get into today. But in Peace knowing He is in charge.

I have given you previously the “Practical Side of Devotions” of committing your work unto the Lord and letting him establish your plans. We will go over that just a little now. When I made that study I felt strongly that was what was needed as I felt many people were missing the practical daily guidance the Lord can give us. But that is only 1/2 our devotional time. Now I feel just as strongly to deal with the spiritual side- where He changes us into His image. That is what we will be talking about tonight. As women we are emotional creatures. Often triggered by circumstance and sometimes by hormones. We have heard it said that the Christian life is not based on emotions. That is true as far as salvation goes. If we confess our sins and believe that Jesus died for those sins, ask him to be Savior of our lives, He will save us, regardless of if we feel like it or not.

But “living” the Christian life has a great deal to do with feelings and emotions. Joy is a feeling. Peace is a feeling. As you enter your devotional time, how are you “feeling”? Check your emotional temperature. If you are feeling any negative unhealthy feelings, God has a remedy for them, so we can claim Isaiah 55:12.

Grab His answer and cling to that promise:

If you are feeling:                                                         Read:

  • Exhausted                                                                    Jeremiah 31:25
  • Anxious                                                                         Phillipians 4:5-6
  • Grief stricken or sad                                                   Matthew 5:4
  • Perplexed                                                                     James 1:5
  • Lonely                                                                           Psalms 25:16-18
  • Depressed                                                                     Psalms 42:5
  • Dismayed                                                                      Isaiah 41:10
  • Angry                                                                             Proverbs 19:11
  • Jealous                                                                          I Corinthians 13:4 or Gal. 5:20
  • Not understanding something                                 Proverbs 20:24
  • Weak & Helpless                                                         Phillipians 4:13
  • Worried about the future                                           Jeremiah 29:11
  • Worried about finances                                              II Corinthians 9:8 or I Peter 5:7
  • Feeling sick                                                                   Jeremiah 30:17a
  • Afraid                                                                             Isaiah 52:12 or Joshua 1:9
  • Embarrassed and Humbled                                     Matthew 23:12, Proverbs 29:23, James 1:9
  • Full of Praise                                                                Psalms 150

Peace and Joy don’t happen instantly. Persevere until it does…..

Luke 11:7-12 

 He would call down from his bedroom, ‘Please don’t ask me to get up. The door is locked for the night and we are all in bed. I just can’t help you this time.’

 “But I’ll tell you this—though he won’t do it as a friend, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you everything you want—just because of your persistence.  And so it is with prayer—keep on asking and you will keep on getting; keep on looking and you will keep on finding; knock and the door will be opened. Everyone who asks, receives; all who seek, find; and the door is opened to everyone who knocks.

“You men who are fathers—if your boy asks for bread, do you give him a stone? If he asks for fish, do you give him a snake? If he asks for an egg, do you give him a scorpion? Of course not!

We must learn to crucify our flesh with its passions and desires…..

Galatians 5:24

 Those who belong to Christ have nailed their natural evil desires to his cross and crucified them there.

But even if our prayers are never answered- We know…

Lamentations 3:22-24

His compassion never ends. It is only the Lord’s mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his loving-kindness begins afresh each day. My soul claims the Lord as my inheritance; therefore I will hope in him.

Also- Even though- We love Him….

Habakkuk 3:17

Even though the fig trees are all destroyed, and there is neither blossom left nor fruit; though the olive crops all fail, and the fields lie barren; even if the flocks die in the fields and the cattle barns are empty,

Isaiah 12:2

See, God has come to save me! I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord is my strength and song; he is my salvation.

We must crucify our bad feelings and rise above them and be the women (and men) God would have us be- being able to go out in Joy and be led forth in Peace.

Being Led By the Spirit (repost)

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14

Do you ever ask yourself: How do we apply this to our lives? Can we really know what God would have us do?

Yes! But FIRST we must Listen, learn to Listen, and take time to listen….

  • Matthew 17:05
  • John 9:47
  • Job 15
  • John 10:14
  • John 10:27
  • Isaiah 55:3a
  • Matthew 11:15
  • Ecclesiastes 5:1a
  • Proverbs 1:23&33

SECOND: How do we know what we hear is God speaking and not our own thoughts or Satan?

Knowing the voice of God is a very personal and different thing to each person. I am going to give you some guidelines from various people and myself for you to wrestle with. Also this ability to know when God is speaking to you does not come instantly. It takes time. Time of praying, time of reading and meditating on the word, time of listening and time to PRACTICE listening. Let us not be like the scribes or Pharisees of whom Jesus spoke in Matthew 23:3 “…. for they preach but they do not practice”.

So please take the following as guidelines to help you in your search of knowing when God is speaking to you.

1. Test the spirits: In 1 John 4:1-3 we are told not to “believe everything we hear”.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God; every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God…”

BUT- even if the enemy is taunting you with something that is true such as past sin, or something not pleasing in your life to the Lord, remember 1 John 2:1 “My little children I am writing this that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

Also remember Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

2. God promised in the Old Testament that He would be our guide. Psalm 48:14 “That this is God, our God for ever and ever. He will be our guide forever.”

The third part of the Trinity was sent to be our guide.

  • 1 John 5:7
  • 2 Timothy 1:14
  • 1 Corinthians 3:16
  • Psalm 25:4,5

Ok, so God’s spirit is now in us- How can the Holy Spirit get our attention and tell us what he wants us to do?

This is a very childlike example of God’s plan for us.

But remember the verse: Matthew 18:3 “…Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Childlike Version

God was looking out at his beautiful world all messed up by men. He thought “How can I tell them I love them so they will understand?” So He decided to send his Son as a human to talk to them in their own language and to die on the cross for their sins. Some listened and some did not. But when Jesus died for our sins and rose again and then went to be with His Father, God did not want us to be left alone. Sooooo he sent the third part of the trinity. He sent the Holy Spirit to come inside those who would believe.

John 16:13 “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”

I John 5:7 “And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth”.

NOW… we know that the Holy Spirit is in us and has promised to guide us. But how do we know what the Spirit is telling us?

We need to quiet our Spirit and get into a quiet place if possible to listen to what the Spirit is telling us. 1 Kings tells us that God speaks in a still small voice. With the noise of the world all around us and our minds spinning, are we able to hear that still small voice?

Psalm 46:10 tells us “Be still and know that I am God.”

 Two wonderful promises of the Holy Spirit’s guidance are found in Galations 5:16 & 25

“I advise you to obey only the Holy Spirit’s instructions. He will tell you where to go and what to do, and then you wont always be doing the wrong things your evil nature wants you to do.”

” If we are living now by the Holy Spirit’s power, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Then we wont need to look for honors and popularity which lead to jealousy and hard feelings.”

The following are thoughts from a tape by Kenneth Hagin entitled “How to Train the Human Spirit”. This tape has been very helpful to me and a blessing in my life as I searched for how to know when God was leading me. I know that Kenneth Hagin has been getting some bad press lately as perhaps into the Prosperity Gospel preaching, but I want to point our to you, that many men are used by God at various times in their lives and are a blessing to many, and perhaps at another time go off on a tangent, but that doesn’t take away from their early ministry. I have also been blessed by Robert Schuller who is given bad press many times in Christian circles. But there again let the spirit guide you and not necessarily believe everything one man tells us or disbelieve another. Measure it up to scripture and ask God to show you. Anyway for what it is worth there are some of his thoughts. May they be a blessing to you as you search out this subject.

He is basing these thoughts on Pro. 20:27 “The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts. And also basing his thoughts on Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it, for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.”

Often we are very diligent to build up our minds and our bodies but neglect our spirits. These are four rules which will help us to build up our spirits.

  1. Comes by meditation in the Word
  2. Comes by practicing the Word
  3. Comes by giving the Word first place in our lives
  4. Comes by instantly obeying the voice of our spirit

Proverbs 20:27 tells us that God and the Holy Spirit will use OUR own spirits to enlighten us and that our own conscience can be guides.

BUT our conscience can only be right guides as we follow the 4 rules.


Realize the value and power of quiet meditation. We cannot spend 5 minutes in the world each day and 5 hours watching TV and reading magazines and expect our spirit to be growing in the things of the Lord.


Be doers of the Word. James 1:22 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” Many Christians are in Praise of the Word, rejoice in the Word, and Talk about the Word…. But how many are DOERS of the word? This does not mean keeping the 10 commandments, for we have a new commandment, we are to love one another and walk in love.

If we are able to DO what it says in Phil. 4:6,7 we are promised peace and no anxiety. “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Phil 4:8,9 tells us what to DO to obtain peace. “Finally, brethren whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, lovely, gracious, if there is anything excellent, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, DO; and the God of peace will be with you.”

The more you talk about some negative thing the more it becomes true. Use Phil. 4:8 as a guide.

We give place to the devil by thinking negative thoughts. The devil wants to enter our thought life. Our spirit is God’s when we ask him in. But we can voluntarily give our thoughts place to Satan.

Matt 12:34 says”…for our of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” I often take this verse when people say something unkind or negative and then say, “I’m only kidding”. I think that is what is really in their heart and it is coming forth. But the same can be true when we are complaining and telling our worries to others. It shows our heart is full of anxiety instead of peace as we are promised by the Lord.


Pro. 4:20-22 “My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my saying. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to him who finds them, and healing to all his flesh.”

What a promise. When you hold that with Joshua 1:8 we really have some promises for listening and doing the words of God.

Also Matt. 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things shall be yours as well.”


The human spirit has a voice. We call it conscience, and sometimes a “gut feeling”, “woman’s intuition”, “hunch” or “inner voice”.

Every mans spirit has a voice whether he is saved or not. But when we are born again all parts of us are made new and turned over to God. 2 Cor. 5:17 says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, the old has passed away, behold the new has come.” (Also see 2 Cor 4:16, 1 Peter 3:4, Eze. 11:19, 1 John 4:4)

Your spirit can be trained to be a true guide of the Holy Spirit’s direction. The devil doesn’t dwell in you and God isn’t in your head,  he is in your heart. The spirit of God within you. Learn to obey your spirit. The conscience can be a safe guide in the believer when it is trained by meditating and educated by God’s word. Our conscience isn’t educated by TV or R rated movies. What are you feeding your inner spirit?

Here are the verses that talk about a “seared” or “corrupted” conscience: 1 Tim 4:2 & Titus 1:15

But when a Christian is meditating in the word and feeding and building up their spirits by doing the word, these verses bear witness to the fact that then our conscience can be a safe guide:

Romans 2:15…”Their conscience also bears witness….” Paul also adds in Romans 9:1 that his conscience is used by God… “I am speaking the truth in Christ, I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit.”

And to me this was the most convincing verse that when we have trained our spirit, we should listen to it: 1 Timothy 1:19 “holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith.”

Inward voice can be the voice of Your spirit. We will miss that voice by putting out fleeces. Satan can be counterfeit and he is out there. Inside your spirit is much safer, when Christ is dwelling within.

What a wonderful promise of the Holy Spirit’s guidance in John 16:13 “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”

One of the greatest tests if it is the Lord speaking to us is if we feel PEACE about what we are being led to do. Phil 4:7 talks about the peace of God which surpasses all understanding. It is so wonderful you have to experience it to know what he is talking about. But when you do, it is real and it is something Satan cannot counterfeit, because it is the confirmation of the Holy Spirit within us.

LEARN to obey the voice of your spirit. Practice the 4 rules often. We are able to get guidance in the minor details of our life as well as the major ones. But it does not happen overnight. It takes time, training, and patience. Follow the rules and exciting things will happen for you!

Self Esteem Part II

I really had to wrestle with the whole area of God breaking our pride. He has had to deal with me so much in this area and I know it is very real. The song “Beautifully Broken” as sung by Keith Hawson speaks very beautifully to this point. As I prayed I asked the Lord to show me the difference between having our pride broken and being proud of our work. I kept thinking of the early craftsmen who were so proud of each thing they made something, that they initialed their work. Compared to many of the slip-shod craftsmen of today. Did God not want us to have pride in out work, be proud of our children, proud of a job well done? I really wanted  some answers to this and by the end of the week He really have me some answers that were at least helpful to me.

As I looked at scriptures talking about Pride there were 50 negative verses compared with 5 positive verses. So much talking about the evils of pride. Such as Proverbs 16:18, Isaiah 2:11, Isaiah 25:11, Amos 6:8, Mark 7:22, II Chronicles 32:26, James 4:6. An then verses using the work Proud. There were 38 negative with only 4 positive. And verses talking about humbling us such as Deut. 8:16-18, Micah 6:8, and Matthew 23:12. The answer came to me in looking at the meaning of the word Pride and Proud in the dictionary. There were 4 definitions for pride. The first one was: Self-respected . And the fourth one was: conceit, arrogance, disdain. I began to get excited as there was a difference with the word itself. The same was true with proud. The first definition was: feeling pleasurable satisfaction. And the fourth definition was: having excessive self-esteem, haughty, arrogant.

The fourth definition gave examples of the negative things God was talking about and wanting to break in us. The first explanation brought to light that there is still good in pride. Then I began to think that perhaps in the Greek different forms of the word pride were used in different situations. I was really excited when I discovered the following.

I found that in Mark 7:22 the word translated as pride was actually in the Greek “haughtiness”. Wow that was great. Then in II Corinthians 7:4 the word pride was used in a positive way. “I have great pride in you”. That was a different Greek word meaning “in respect of you”. That really cleared some thinking in my mind. That there are good sides of pride that God would have in my life but the arrogance and haughtiness and not giving God the credit were the things He wanted broken.

The Greek meanings of the words Humility and Gentleness were also very interesting. Greek word for Humility- Not the making of one’s self small when he is really great, but thinking little of one’s self, because this is in a sense the right estimate for any human being, however great. The word for Gentleness says: Is founded upon this same idea and goes beyond it. It is the attitude of mind and behavior which, arising from humility, disposes one to receive with gentleness and meekness whatever may come to him from others or from God.

There things are very helpful to me in clearing up this matter and I hope a little helpful to you.

Jeremiah 9:23 tells us where not to get our self respect….


Self Esteem- Part I

Low self esteem and inferiority is probably the most common affliction of American women today. James Dobson is quoted as saying the greatest need of women is a healthy dose of self esteem and personal worth. He elaborated on this in his book “Hide and Seek”. He gave a group of women a questionnaire (two groups of women) and asked to rank the sources of depression according to the applicability of their life. They were…

  1. Absence of Romantic love
  2. Low Self-esteem
  3. In-law problems
  4. Problems with the children
  5. Financial difficulties
  6. Loneliness
  7. Sexual Problems
  8. Menstrual and physical problems
  9. Time pressure
  10. Aging

Of the two groups, one listed low self-esteem as first and the other group listed it as second. If you are a Christian woman you don’t have to live with that because God says it isn’t true. You are an important person and you do matter and he sent his son Jesus to prove it. You are every bit as valuable as the most beautiful, talented person you can name.

Read Psalms 139- It tells how God delighted in you while you were still in the womb. His art work in putting you together- he had a blue print for you. Christian humility is not having a low view of yourself. It’s not a virtue to have an inferiority complex or declare your worthlessness.  You are not worthless if you are a child of God. You are a value to God.

Some person has hit you at a weak spot. Suggested you should use a wrinkle cream, lose 10 lbs, or someone asked you if you were pregnant. Maybe you made a fool of yourself in public. Any of these could make you tell yourself for weeks that you are nothing but a ding-a-ling. Satan loves to remind us of failures. Say to him, “I am not worthless, I am a precious child of God.”

If Satan can paralyze your self confidence he can stop any good God can carry out of you. He knows he can destroy your husband, children, and your ministry if he can make you feel worthless. Read Psalms to that liar. Christian humility is having an accurate view of yourself. Romans 12:3 describes true humility. There is a balance of liking yourself and liking other people. If I accept myself, does that mean I have arrived? There is a line between self-confidence and conceit and self-acceptance and smug self-satisfaction. How do we balance this out from extreme depression to extreme egotism.

We can be wallowing in self pity and feel we must be getting holy because we feel the whole weight of our sin. We feel so humble. Satan loves to tell us how dumb and disorganized we are and then how really spiritual we are to recognize those things. Read Romans 12 if you find yourself at either end of that scale.

The following are some of my own thoughts that I used in our second lesson on self-esteem. I thought much about three examples that were given in class as reasons for feeling stupid or feeling a low value of yourself. I felt we should really look at the “feelings” and where they come from and deal with them before we put the band aid on them.

Are they from God? From Satan? Because of our own doing? Others?

One thing that has been helpful to me in analyzing my feelings is the statement: Conviction is from God. It is specific. Take care of this area and it’s all over.  Such as, You are a worthwhile person BUT this particular area needs cleaning up. God never hits us with all our faults at once. We take care of one area and we feel clean.

Accusations- are from Satan. They are wide. Such as, “You are a worthless person, You never do anything right. You are a terrible mother and a terrible wife.” God does not deal with us in this way.

We also have to realize that in Hebrews 12:6 it says, “God the Lord disciplines him whom he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” Are these feelings coming from an area of discipline of the Lord?

Because of Romans 15:7 “Wherefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.”

I can boldly say: I am Fully Known yet Fully Accepted

I think we all desire a friend around whom we can just be ourselves and still be accepted and loved. Not a guarded relationship where we have to be so careful and every word might be misinterpreted. God is like that special friend, even more so. He loves us and accepts us in all our varying moods and situations.

From Birkey’s book page 41 she gives some thoughts: That many well-meaning Christians have mental reservations about God’s acceptance of them. They think, “Yes, God will accept me if I don’t do… or if I don’t do… or when I become…Some of these ideas have come from the way others have treated us… Such as:

(These are examples given which I think were good and also typical of what many of us have felt)

“My mother constantly criticized me while I was growing up. I could never do anything well enough for her.”

“I was a timid, shy person and was always most comfortable when hidden in a group. One evening a group of young people were separating after a gathering, everyone was saying a general goodbye. But Miriam turned to me and said, “Goodbye, Evelyn, See you Sunday!” Words cannot express the thrill that went through me, an actual physical reaction of warmth and a quickened heartbeat. I was a person, not just one of crowd. And in those simple words she had communicated to me that I was accepted.”

“As a child and a teenager my dad often ignored me. In high school I was to go on a school trip and needed money. Dad ignored my need until I was ready to go out the door. Then he made me feel like dog under the table waiting for some scraps. I was sure he hadn’t accepted me as a daughter or even as a person.”

Verses about God knowing us fully: Psalms 139:1-6  & Eph. 1:3-14

Think of a time when you were aware another knew you did something wrong but still accepted you. Did that motivate you to change? Think of a time when you felt unaccepted because of your seeming lack of gifts or abilities. How did you feel and did it cause you to change your course of action?

Think of three answers to the statement: “I feel most loved when…”

John 4:1-26 and John 8:1-11- examples of Jesus demonstrating knowledge of, yet fully accepting a person.

Application: This week observe when people have demonstrated the same accepting attitude toward you.


*Continued in “Self Esteem Part II”

Lesson on Obedience

Exodus 14:15 “The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me?  Tell the people of Israel to go forward.  Lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go on dry ground through the sea.””

Exodus 17:5-6 “And the Lord said to Moses, “Pass on before the people taking with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand the rod with which you struck the Nile, and go.  Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock and water shall come out of it, that the people may drink.””

Numbers 20:8-9 “Take the rod and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water; so you shall bring water out of the rock for them; so you shall give drink to the congregation and their cattle.”  And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him.”

Numbers 20:11-12 “And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his rod twice; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation drank and their cattle.  And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “BECAUSE YOU DID NOT BELIEVE IN ME, TO SANCTIFY ME IN THE EYES OF THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL, THEREFORE YOU SHALL NOT BRING THIS ASSEMBLY INTO THE LAND WHICH I HAVE GIVEN THEM.””


Moses’ punishment always seemed so harsh for such a seemingly small disobedience.  It seems that Moses used the rod twice before to do miracles, once to strike the Nile and then to strike the rock for water.  Then in Numbers 20:8 he is told to take the rod and TELL the rock.

I can see Moses’ side of this.  Perhaps he wasn’t listening so closely and since he had always used the rod, just assumed that was what he was to do this time also.  It doesn’t seem fair after all he had done to lead his people out of Egypt and all he had put up with during the years in the wilderness.

But then it gives us insight into God’s thinking and what obedience means to him and what it means that we should fear God.

Perhaps he doesn’t want us to get in a rut.  “But we have always done it this way.”  Perhaps Moses was getting a little too attached to that rod, and thinking the power was in that instead of in God.

Do we ever do the same thing?  A certain way has been successful for us and we feel the Lord leading us to do something in a different way and our instinct says, “Oh no, I have always done it this way.  I feel comfortable doing it this way.” etc.

Also do we always use the same “tool” or method in doing something.  We are not to rely on anything but only listen to God, and obey him.

Could it be sort of like athletes who have to wear the “winning” socks or shirts…because they wore it while winning, perhaps relying on that instead of the skill God has given them.

Perhaps we need to learn that if the Lord is telling us to do something in a different way that we have done before, in which we might also have had success, to not fight it but DO it.  We must trust God and not our past achievements and not the instrument that we used in the past.

Deut 5:29 ” Oh that they had such a mind as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and with their children forever.”

Psalm 25:14 “The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.”

Rev 14:7 “…and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of judgement has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the fountains of water.”

A good study is to look up all the verses on “fear” that you can.  Try to understand the difference between “fearing” God but nothing else.  What does it mean to fear God?

I think we need to come to a clear understanding about what it means to fear God, before we can really have an understanding about obeying him.  So the two are really tied together.