Math = God

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The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through wisdomyour days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer. Proverbs 9:10-12 NIV

There are a few things you should know before you read this blog. First, I never liked or did well in math growing up as a child. In fact, I probably cried more tears over math than everything else combined in my young life. It was a constant battle. In fact, just the other day on the phone my dad and I were laughing about all the time and tricks he put into teaching me my multiplication tables. I told him he deserved a purple heart! Second, in November we decided we would start homeschooling our children for the Fall 2013 school year. God had been tugging at my heart for over a year and I finally fell in line with His will. Third, I just completed a 3-day practicum put on by the main curriculum we will be using (Classical Conversations) and the focus was on how to LOVE math so you could teach your children to love it too.

Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you. Deuteronomy 4:12 NI

I admit, my expectations were low. I started with a “Love math? Yeah, right!” attitude. I knew I would probably learn some fun math games and more about the curriculum, but what I got was so much more and completely unexpected. I have practiced for years seeing God in the ordinary and today I made the connection that God created all this symmetry, laws and numerical patterns. He isn’t just in the things I like or find beautiful, but everything. So when I see Him in the ordinary ~ I’m seeing math too. No computer could create such a perfect pattern throughout life.

Just like this shell I found walking on the beach years ago.  Even though it has been broken and roughed up by the waves ~ you can still see God’s perfect and beautiful design hidden in the heart of it. Still remaining, secure and safe. I realized that even when things look broken, we get frustrated and don’t see the purpose we have to look beyond what’s there ~ beyond to God. There is beauty in EVERY single one of His creations. It just may not look like it from the outside, but His plan is perfect. He ways and thoughts higher than ours.

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Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues. Proverbs 10:19 NIV

When we practice seeing God in EVERYTHING ~ even the things we don’t particularly like, it promotes growth, knowledge and wisdom. Wisdom that will not fade away. Wisdom that isn’t temporary but permanent wisdom that we can carry through life and use to make a difference in His Kingdom.

So, math has never been my favorite subject, but over the past three days I have learned that if I can focus on God the love of math will come (if I practice). I desire to be where God is and if He is in math ~ I want to be there too. I never want to miss out on a way to know my Heavenly Father more intimately and draw closer to Him.

You divided the sea before them, so that they passed through it on dry ground, but you hurled their pursuers into the depths, like a stone into mighty waters. Nehemiah 9:11 NIV

Maybe it’s not math for you . . . maybe you already love math, but you have a “ick” feeling about another subject, person, or place. Think about taking the time to see how God is woven into that particular thing. He is the creator of everything. Practice seeing Him there and that “yeah, right?!” attitude may just disappear completely. Start by making filling in the blank.

I Heart  ___Math__!____

As they asked over and over the past few days at practicum ~ Do you choose to believe? So I ask you, Do you choose to believe you can see God in what you dislike? Do you choose to believe He created what you dislike? Do you choose to believe He can help you overcome your distaste for thing particular person or thing?

What will you choose to heart?

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You Can Take Your Rules and . . . .

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Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Romans 13:1

We sold our house this month and have moved into a rental house while we build another house (the life of a builder’s wife). The house we are renting is in a small quiet neighborhood that I really like. But, it also has a VERY active homeowner’s association. VERY!!! They love to create and enforce the rules, regulations and bylaws that have been put in place. And that is good. When there are laws we need people to enforce them and we need people to follow them. Stick with me, I promise I’m going somewhere with this!

However, and I’m not proud to admit this, but I sometimes (O.K. most of the time) struggle with this type of authority. Don’t get me wrong, I’m down with safety, quiet and clean, but the color of my house, when I take my trash can to the street or how I park my car just isn’t going to stop the world or endanger it. It’s those “let me tell you how I want you to live, act and respond” rules that get under my skin when it’s coming from others. I know this is a heart issue and the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right?!

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5

God’s word tells us over and over again that we must submit to authority out of humility and simply the fact that God is the only REAL authority around these parts and if someone is in authority it’s only because He allowed it for one reason or another (Romans 13:1).  Amen!!! I know we mostly think about our government when we read these verses on submitting to authority, but it’s so much more. It includes anyone in authority: our employers, local police, church leaders, board members and much to my dismay even homeowner’s boards. When we ignore them we are essentially telling God we don’t trust His plan, His leaders or His authority. When we look at it from a Godly perspective, it certainly makes it a little easier to swallow.

Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21

After a  week of being here,  I’m beginning to see that God is working on me in this aspect of my heart. It’s been a problem for a while, but this is my time. My opportunity to allow Him in and restore a heart that isn’t looking like His yet. Today’s lesson is preparing me for something that is coming. So I’ll embrace it, pray for strength and patience and watch out for His divine lessons that He is masking with an ordinary situation.

What heart issue is God encouraging you to face and overcome? Facing it isn’t easy or fun, but it He restoration brings joy and fruit we could have never imagined.

L – Let it Go

O – On your Knees

V – Very passionately

E – Everyday

Burning Anger

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Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses Exodus 4:14

Then Balak’s anger burned against Balaam Numbers 24:10

When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him 1 Samuel 17:28

So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel. Joshua 7:1

But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger. Esther 1:12

I’m sure you get the theme by now. . . I looked up anger in the Bible and found it over and over again. In fact, there are at least 53 (probably more if I keep looking) where it’s not just anger, but BURNING anger. Why is anger always  burning? I thought about this a lot today.  I needed to spend time in God’s word exploring anger and how to handle it after a difficult morning with my children. It is so frustrating to watch them do things to one another (on purpose) just to make the other one mad. Thankfully, this isn’t the norm and they usually play well together, but when they decide to “let the devil win” as we say, it can ruin the entire morning.

I think it’s called “burning anger” because it starts slow (just like a fire) and as others or life throws kindling on our fire it grows bigger and anger starts rolling like a bonfire started with five dry Christmas trees (trust me on this one – they go up in seconds). Just like this morning, my kids frustration and purposeful unkindness starts to kindle the flames of anger in me. . . then as they continued to justify their actions (more kindling), blame one another and yell (gasoline) . . . .  I had a full blown fire of burning anger. . . .

How do you handle anger? Does it take a lot or just a little to push you over the edge? Honestly, I can handle it for a while (while the fire is small) but then if things don’t resolve and I can’t get enough water on the flames the fire gets out of control and I find myself being burned and falling into the trap letting the anger overtake me. I needed a reminder of what God says about anger and although there are many verses about anger and self-control these stood out to me today.

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 2 Timothy 2:24

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:19-20

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. Proverbs 16:32

An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins. Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor. Proverbs 29:22-23

Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9

Our actions always come down to a heart issue . . . when we become angry we must look into our heart and see what is kindling our burning anger. Is it pride, fear, selfishness, a need for control or maybe all of them. Thank goodness we have a loving Father who will help us acknowledge and overcome our strongholds. But, we must acknowledge them, pray for forgiveness and ask God to help us weed them out of our hearts. It isn’t always pretty in there, but when we face the garbage and are willing to clean it out ~ everyone benefits. Will you join me?

Father, I pray these scriptures penetrate our hearts and that our thirst for you grows each day so that living water you provide for us will extinguish all the flames of anger in our lives so that our mouths, actions and thoughts don’t over take us. Father, reveal our strongholds and give us the courage and strength to turn them over to you. Cover us and protect us with your armor so that we can be good examples of your love to everyone around us. Amen