Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Confessions


  • I confess... that this week was better than last.
  • I confess... after my son's motorcycle accident, I wasn't sure who I pissed off to put us through what we've been through. The devil was after us bad!
  • I confess... it was due to my faith in God who got me through. God is good, all the time! 
  • I confess... my dad is cancer free, my MIL is home from the hospital, and my son is healing. Praise God!
  • I confess... I am doing a 5k Kiss Me Dirty race Saturday morning.
  • I confess... I am terrified. I dont run. I am not really that strong. This is going to be interesting. I hope I dont hurt anything! 
  • I confess... My birthday is Monday and we are going to Park City for a little vacation. First as just adults to get our drink on... then bringing the kids up on Monday-Wednesday. I am looking forward to it.
  • I confess... I am having a hard time with my daughter going into the Youth Group. I swear she isnt old enough... I swear she is just a little girl, instead of this little women I see in front of me. Last night the Youth went to an arcade to play around and bowl. 80 kids showed up... I waited up until the minute I heard her come in the house at almost 11pm. This going to be hard for me.
  • I confess... I am proud of her. I've had a lot of compliments about how mature she is and what a great helper she is. That's wonderful to hear :) 

What are you confessing? Come over to Mamarazzi's and tell us, confessing is good for your soul :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Books of Amos and Obadiah

Written by one of the Genesis Project Pastors

This week our church is going out to serve our city. We call it our Wanna Give Away week, because our desire is to Give Away whatever we have, including ourselves, to show God’s love to Ogden. It is just a week, but a week we try and use as a springboard for the rest of the year.

Tasked with reading Amos and Obadiah this week, and thinking of our upcoming week of service, I am particularly drawn to Amos chapter 5. In this chapter the people of God are being rebuked for their lack of justice. They are given a good old fashioned scolding. Check out these passages from Amos 5 The Message.

Because you run roughshod over the poor and take the bread right out of their mouths, You're never going to move into the luxury homes you have built. You're never going to drink wine from the expensive vineyards you've planted. I know precisely the extent of your violations, the enormity of your sins. Appalling! You bully right-living people, taking bribes right and left and kicking the poor when they're down.

I can't stand your religious meetings. I'm fed up with your conferences and conventions. I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals. I'm sick of your fund-raising schemes, your public relations and image making. I've had all I can take of your noisy ego-music. When was the last time you sang to me? Do you know what I want? I want justice—oceans of it. I want fairness—rivers of it. That's what I want. That's all I want

It would seem that God is not nearly as impressed with us as we are with ourselves. Our wealth does not impress Him (and if you are American, you are wealthy). Our professionalism does not impress Him. Our church buildings, nice clothes, nice cars, nice houses; these do not impress God. In fact the only thing that Amos 5 tells us will please God is justice; oceans of it.

Justice. The thesaurus offers these alternatives to the word: righteousness, fairness, uprightness, decency, gentleness, ethicality, moral, goodness. These are what God expects of His people. He expects His people to treat the poor, the homeless, the widows, the orphans, the needy with goodness and justice. I have heard a lot of criticism directed at churches like ours. People will say that the church is

not an institution for social justice, and that our focus should be on Jesus. And while I most definitely agree that our focus should be on Jesus, I believe the church has to be an institution of social justice because God’s Word demands it. Here are just a few examples from God’s Word.

Isaiah 1:17

Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause.

Zechariah 7:9-10

"Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart."

Jeremiah 22:3

Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.

Proverbs 31:9

Open your mouth, judge righteously; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Luke 4:16-21

"He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.’ Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’"

That last passage was talking about Jesus. Jesus said He had been anointed to preach good news to the poor, proclaim freedom for prisoners, give sight to the blind and release the oppressed. And while all of these things have a spiritual connotation, we would be remiss to ignore the literal connotation as well. So as we head into the week and embark on many different service projects, know that you are representing Christ. By serving our city this week, you are acting as our Savior would. You are imparting a little bit of His justice to our world. My prayer is that one week would not be enough for us. My prayer is that bringing justice to our broken world would become a way of life for each of us.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Thank God for Helmets

Friday afternoon, I get a phone call from my husband. I thought it was strange b/c I had just talked to him an hour before and I was going to see him in about 20 minutes or so... What I heard on the other end of the phone was nothing I was prepared for.
He was yelling and crying and I couldnt make any sense of what he was saying... other than something about an accident and the motorcycle and Taylor being hurt. All I could get out was if he called 911 and he said that the girl did and I found out where he was. I took off running to my car... called my parents who were able to get there before me.
I swear I hit every light and got behind every slow driver possible. When I got to the scene of the accident, my parents were already there, Taylor and Bryan were in the ambulance. My dad was taking the bike home to his house and were heading to the hospital. My mom told me to get Drew and get up to the hospital.
Poor Drew... he was so sad to hear his brother was in an accident... He kept asking questions but I had no idea how to answer b/c I didnt know what had happened. Drew prayed in the car asking for God to heal Taylor quickly and comfort him. So sweet. (I didnt tell Ty until later b/c she was at a friend's house... and when I did, even with the good news of him being ok, she still freaked out)
We got to the hospital before the ambulance so we were just waiting. Finally they got there and I was let back... oh my dear husband, he was a wreck. Ends up that Taylor passed out on the back of the bike. We are thinking from heat exhaustion b/c nothing else showed up on blood work or anything. Bryan felt him wiggle, he reached back, and he wasnt there. Bryan looked in his mirror and saw Taylor bouncing down the road as he was going around 50 mph. Oh Lord! He was able to pull over carefully and ran to him. Another car that was behind him got out to help as well.
Taylor's helmet was trashed. Here's a picture of it:

By the grace of God, he survived. The Dr said if he didnt have that helmet on, he wouldnt be here. He also said that Taylor is a miracle b/c he should be hurt a lot worse than he is... he has no broken bones or internal bleeding or anything. He's got a lot of roadrash, but that's it. It took hours to get him cleaned up, but he was a trooper. He did really well and has been doing good all weekend. Hasnt had to take his pain meds very much. He goes back to his Dr this afternoon for a follow up. Bryan is so shooken up... he keeps replaying things in his head. I pray that God comforts him and erases those visions.
Please, even if your state gives you the choice, ALWAYS wear a helmet.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Confessions 06/22/12


I Confess... I am tired.

I Confess... physically and emotionally tired.

I Confess... my MIL is in the hospital with a tissue mass growing in her stomach, a blood clot in her lungs, and now a blockage in her heart.

I Confess... I've spent the last 3 days up at the hospital with her. For all she has been through she's been great. She is in good spirits.

I Confess... in addition to my MIL's problems, my dad was diagnosed with cancer last week and on Wednesday he had part of his ear removed. Ugh!

I Confess... the day after his surgery, he was on the motorcycle, with a helmet, because he isnt going to let cancer get him down.

I Confess... I have a wonderful church family. When I am at my lowest, they step in and pray with me and wipe my tears. I love everyone at the Genesis Project :)

I Confess... next week my church is doing 120 service projects in addition to nightly worship services and VBS. We are going to be hopping... so get ready, city of Ogden!

What are you confessing?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Book of Joel

                                                Written by a pastor at the Genesis Project

Peter had walked with Jesus for three years. Jesus was his best friend. To be honest, He was more like a brother than a friend. They had walked together, ministered together, and shared, well, everything. And now Jesus was gone. He was snatched away by a Roman centurion in the middle of the night. He was not given a fair trial. He was crucified on a Roman cross. He was gone. And to top it off, Peter had denied Jesus. He told the little servant girl that he didn’t even know who Jesus was. Peter was a coward. And Jesus was dead. To Peter, life was an accumulation of failures, disappointments and heartaches.

Then, a glimmer of hope; Jesus rose from the dead!! Surely he was the Son of God. Surely now Jesus would establish His Kingdom. But then Jesus gave his disciples instructions and ascending back into heaven. He told them to wait in the Upper Room. Wait? Three years of my life and now you want me to wait? There was more confusion, more sadness that his friend was gone again. What would become of Peter now?

What happened was that Peter was transformed. He became a preacher. The once cowardly friend of Jesus, who had lost everything, became a bold proclaimer of God’s Word. He had become transformed by the Spirit of God. The first words that Peter proclaimed to the crowds after God’s Spirit had fallen upon him were the words of the prophet Joel.

Acts 2:4-21

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning!16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 "'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.

19 I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.

20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.

21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'

Joel is considered a minor prophet in the Old Testament. He is considered a minor prophet simply because of the length of the book he wrote; it is only 3 chapters long. Like the other prophets we have studied, the Word of God that Joel brings is harsh. He brings a promise of destruction for Israel. Joel chapter 1 describes at length, the swarms of bugs and locusts that God will use to wipe out crops, livelihood, and Israel itself. But by far the most compelling chapter of Joel is chapter 2. In this chapter, God delivers a different kind of promise. He makes promises to Israel of what He will do if Israel will turn to Him.

Joel 2: 25-26 "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten — the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm -my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the L
ORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed." God had sent destruction in the form of locusts. The locusts had demolished Israel’s way of life. Years had been taken from them, but here God promises to repay these years. Though Israel had so often brought destruction upon themselves; God in his mercy was going to set things right. HE was going to repay THEM!

God proves His mercy and love are even greater when he makes another promise a few verses later in Joel 2:28-29. These are the verses that Peter echoes in the book of Acts; verses that promise God’s Spirit to be poured out upon mankind. So not only does God restore Israel, He sends them a fresh pouring out of His Spirit.

Joel has me thinking this week, that our God is still fulfilling these promises in our lives today. You and I have destroyed our lives. We have sinned and paid serious consequences for it. We have probably lost a lot in the name of sin; relationships, dignity, love, freedom, self-respect, joy, peace, and on, and on and on. We did it. We earned the consequence. Most of the devastation in our lives is our fault. And while some of the devastation in our lives is just plain "bad luck", God wants to repay us for all of it! If we will turn to Him, He repays us for the years the locusts have eaten. Maybe you have experienced this work of grace in your life. Maybe you have seen the beauty that God brings from our ashes. I know I have. And here is the thing; God wants to bless us. He wants to make things right for us. He wants to restore us. He wants to repay us. Let Him!

And God doesn’t just restore us to our former selves. He transforms us by giving us His Spirit. It was this promise that Peter spoke of in Acts 2. I am sure that Peter must have been thinking about the locusts in his life. He had been a failure, a screw-up; even before he denied Christ he was constantly doing stupid things. And the disappointments he had faced; well, they were too many to count, culminating with Christ leaving him to wait in this
upper room. But then the Holy Spirit came and changed everything for Peter. The Holy Spirit is still changing everything for us today. God’s Spirit is what gives us power to live in victory; to live out the calling that God has given us. God’s Spirit is the second half of our inheritance. God will restore us, but then, He will renew us. The Holy Spirit renews us if we allow Him.

So the book of locusts is really a book of promise. How about that!!

1. How do you think it felt to be Peter? What do you think he was contemplating sitting in that upper room for 40n days?

2. What locusts do you have in your life? Do you have hope that God can restore what they have taken from you? Have you witnessed God restoring what the locusts have taken?

3. What about God’s Spirit, what does the promise of His Spirit mean to your life?

4. How does God want to boldly use you today?

Monday, June 18, 2012

I HATE Cancer

About a week ago, I went on a rant on Facebook about how I hate cancer... Just to remind you of why... 4 years ago on Mother's Day, my mom was diagnosed for her 2nd time of having Breast Cancer. Since then, I've know people to have Melanoma, more Breast Cancer, other skin cancers, Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Thymic Cancer, etc. One of my dear friend's just lost her mom to lung cancer and I had to sit through a funeral for her on Saturday... I'd had enough.

This year on Father's Day, I had to hear my dad tell me he has cancer. This time it is Basal Cell Carcinoma and maybe Squamous Carcinoma. He had a spot off his back removed, a spot off his jaw removed, and is going in on Wednesday to have part of his ear removed. While this isn't a life threatening cancer, meaning it doesn't spread... it can be disfiguring and it's still cancer. There is a chance its in his jaw bone and if that's the case, he will probably need radiation but we are still waiting on the staging from the biopsy and more information from the doctor so we'll cross that road when we get there. He will forever have his body checked for new spots to cut off... Doesn't sound like a lot of fun to me.

He told me and my husband on Friday night at dinner... Yeah, I bawled in the restaurant and was on my face in tears at Friday Night Worship (I am so thankful for my sisters in Christ who prayed with me). Then told the rest of the family at a BBQ on Saturday and luckily by then I was able to gain some composure. Last night I had to tell my kids, who are extremely close to my parents. My daughter is the one I thought would have a melt down and it ended up being my son who did. When he hears cancer, he thinks of all my mom went through... surgeries, drains, chemotherapy, radiation, sickness, bald heads, etc. It was hard to explain the difference of this cancer compared to her breast cancer when I don't really know what to expect with this. The kids did tell me that their Poppie would look silly without his mustache so they will get him a fake one if he loses his hair :)

I pray for a cure to all cancers... I pray that no one else has to go through a holiday celebration telling their families that have this nasty disease. I HATE cancer.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Psalm 112:7

Psalm 112:7 says "They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them" I am going to hold on to that with all my heart today. I got some bad news and I am scared, but I know fear is not of the Lord. I prayed with friends last night in the middle of hysterics and I felt His calm. I know I'm being cryptic, but as soon as I can say something, I will... Until then, please keep my family in your prayers. Thanks!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Happy Father's Day Mister Husband

I couldn't find pictire of Bryan and the kids right now, so this will have to do :)
I am so blessed to call this amazing man my husband. He came in to our lives 4+ years ago and because of him my heart truly knows what love is.

My kids will be with their other dad this weekend, so we did a Pre-Father's Day activity last night... or Pre-Brydad's day as the kids called it :)

We went to Drew's baseball game first... then went to Costa Vida for dinner... then went bowling at FatCats. I tell you what... his two gutter balls, along with my 2 strikes caused for some competition; however in the end, he beat me by 10 pins. It was the closest I've even been to him (and I scored 130!!) since he's kinda professional and all. Of course, I had to hear about how if he had his own shoes they wouldnt have stuck to the floor and he would have done better! LOL

My husband loves my children as if they were his own. When they are sick, they go to him for comfort. When they need something, they go to him for help. When they want to play, they know he is a big kid. I love to hear them joke around and giggle. They have inside jokes that bond them. Having this dad in their home with them 24/7 gives them the stability that they crave. They love him and honor him. Our family is complete thanks to God putting this amazing man in our lives.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Oh My DrewbyDoo... I Love This Boy!!

Drew with his new hair do

I love this boy... he is such a tenderhearted, loving kid. Two things stand out when I think of him this morning.

First, yesterday when he realized that his sister really lost her ipod, instead of just misplacing it, he offered her his. "Giving someone something is blessing them, mom".  Boy... does this kid have Jesus in his heart or what?!

Then last night when I was getting ready for bed, Drew came in and told me to wake him up when I got up for work. I told him he didnt need to get up at 6am, that its summer, but he kept insisting that I wake him up. So this morning I went in and sat at the edge of his bed and rubbed his back. He snuggled over and put his head in my lap and put his arm around my back. I asked him if he still wanted me to wake him up and he said "Yes, because I wanted to give you a hug before you left. I'll go back to sleep now". Ohhh... my sweet kid.

I pray that God continues to work in him. Continues the kindness. Continues the love for others. I pray that he grows into a man of God who impacts and influences those around him. Thank you Lord for this wonderful little boy that I get to call my son.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Book of Hosea

The Life Project: Hosea
Paul Pope
Is there any human feeling more powerful than that of betrayal? The feelings multiply exponentially when the betrayal comes from someone we love. Ask a high school girl whose boyfriend has dumped her for a pretty cheerleader. Or turn on your radio and listen to the lyrics of many songs that communicate pain turned to anger that stem from infidelity. Or check out the murders reported on the news and you’ll find an amazing number trace back to a quarrel with an estranged lover
The Old Testament book of Hosea is the story of the prophet Hosea and his wife Gomer. At the same time, the book of Hosea symbolizes God’s faithful love for His unfaithful people. God commands Hosea to marry a prostitute, Gomer, but after bearing him three children, she walks away from Hosea to the arms of other lovers. The symbolic nature of the book is communicated in the first chapter as Hosea compares Israel’s actions to that of a woman turning from her marriage to a life of prostitution.
Not even God, with all His power, will force someone to love Him, and this choice will always leave the possibility for rejection. God through Hosea’s marriage demonstrates in living color exactly what it is like to love someone desperately and only get rejection in return. The book of Hosea portrays God’s passion, fury, tears, and love as a reaction to Israel’s rejection of Him. More close to home, we get to see how God responds to us when we reject Him for things of this world.
Even after Gomer deserted Hosea for other men, the Lord told him to take her back—a picture of "the love of the L
ORD for the children of Israel, who look to other gods" (Hosea 3:1). God the lover does not desire to share His bride with anyone else. Yet, amazingly, when Israel turned her back on God, He stuck with her.
Hosea, and later Jesus, clearly communicate to us that God longs not to punish but to love. He who saved and cares for you longs for your return. His arms are open in forgiveness and acceptance. He will never drive you away.

Small Group Questions
1. Have you ever been betrayed by someone that you love? What were the feelings that arose in you?
2. How does the book of Hosea communicate God’s heart for those who have betrayed Him by serving idols (looking to other people or things to do what only God can do)?
3. When was the last time you strayed from God? How did you think God reacted?
4. Do you ever wonder if you have strayed too far from God to be restored?
5. Read parable of "The Prodigal Son": Luke 15:11-24 God receives us when we repent and turn to Him. Repentance is best described by the Prodigal Son when he realized his mistake and humbly asked to be restored in relationship. Compare this understanding of repentance to the way you regard your sin. When you recognize sin in your life do you repent or do you act like it didn’t happen and move on?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Time to Confess

I'll start out my confession with the fact that the "Confession Logo" isnt working and I dont know how to fix it. See below:

<center><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket" /></a></center>

* I confess... I went for ice cream last night in my gym clothes.

* I confess... I had planned to go to the gym, but never made it.

* I confess... I am lacking some motivation to go to the gym.

* I confess... I am at my goal weight again. I am now considered "Healthy" by the BMI calculator.

* I confess... that makes it hard for me to want to go to the gym when I've lost the weight with healthy eating.

* I confess... I need to be more motivated because I have a Kiss Me Dirty 5k in about 3 weeks that is going to kick my butt b/c although I am at a good weight, I am not really that in shape anymore since it's been about a month since I've really worked out. Ugh! Vicious cycle. LOL!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Just Feeling Blah

I am just feeling "Blah" lately. No motivation... no energy. I thought it was because I am still getting over this stomach bug I got in Guatemala, but now I am wondering if its more than that.

Someone told me before I left on my mission trip that I would have this spiritual high while I was there and then I'd go through this let down phase. I forgot about that conversation until now.

It's not like anything is different... same job, same family, same day to day activities, but I think I am missing out on something. Like that big feeling of purpose and accomplishment are gone.

I dont like feeling this way. I dont like when I am feeling down. It doesnt happen nearly as much as it used to and that could be why it's bothering me.

I need to refocus. I need to find something to through myself into it whole heartedly. Refind my place.

I need to make an effort and get back to the gym. I've only been 2x in the past 3 weeks... thinking it was b/c I was physically ill, but I think making a little mentally off too. Ya know, I've only got 3 weeks until my Kiss Me Dirty 5k. I need to get ready... and I am going to set that as my goal and focus. My hiney is getting back to the gym and I think that will be a good start to getting back to my normal self.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Book of Daniel

The Life Project: Daniel
Matt Roberts
Israel was facing a time of death and destruction. Babylon had moved in and destroyed
all that was sacred to God’s people. Babylon had robbed Israel of its greatest treasure;
the young, passionate, vibrant minds of an up and coming generation. The lights had
gone out in Israel. Her capital city had been trampled, her palace destroyed and her
most Holy Temple desecrated. It was a dark time, something reminiscent of the
doomsday scenes from movies like The Terminator or War of The Worlds. The colorful,
vibrant culture of pageantry and worship has been replaced by a thick, grey fog. The
streets of Jerusalem that were once filled with song had become deathly silent. In a
world that was without hope and without faith, the story of Daniel is a breath of fresh air.
Daniel was only a teenager when he was taken captive from his homeland and brought
as a servant to Babylon. He was intelligent, good looking, and in great shape. Daniel
1:4a says the court official was to bring the king,
"young men without any physical
defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to
understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace."
Daniel was chosen for this prestigious position. What an opportunity! It was going to be
an easier life than that of an ordinary slave. He was to serve in the king’s court. It was a
place of power and influence. It was an opportunity that most would have sold their soul.
And like with many great opportunities, selling his soul is exactly what was being asked
of Daniel. He was being asked to fit in. He was being groomed to become, for all intents
and purposes, a Babylonian. Verse 4b says,
"He was to be taught the language and
literature of the Babylonians. The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine
from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to
enter the king’s service."
Daniel was in a difficult, stressful situation that was going to test his faith and principles
at a fundamental level. The Israelite was to change into a Babylonian. A God fearing
young man was being asked to compromise everything he believed in the name of
power and success. What the King required and what God required stood at opposite
ends of the room. Have you ever stood in that spot; the tug of war between our comfort
and success pulling against our faith and integrity? How would Daniel respond to this
One way to deal with the call to compromise our beliefs is to surrender. He could have
sold out. With his gifts and talents he could have gone with the flow and easily justified it
by saying, “there was no other option, after all I am a slave...”. Most times this is the
path of least resistance. Simply give in and console ourselves with the notion that at
least we lived to fight another day.
Another way Daniel could have handled the call to compromise was to be deceptive.
He could have kept the court officials and the king in the dark and honor God in secret.
No one would have been the wiser; just do what you want in keeping with God’s law but
pretend to be obedient. Daniel could have kept quiet and hoped that no one would
notice. This is a win/win situation right? I won’t sin against God and I won’t have to take
a stand and become the example of what happens to detractors.
How did Daniel handle it? He handled it with integrity. In verse 8 it says,
"But Daniel
resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief
official for permission not to defile himself this way."
In a world full of compromise and
justifications Daniel made the tough call, he decided to take a stand for what he
believed in no matter what the cost. Daniel refused to allow circumstances to change
who he was. Now that is the stuff heroes are made of!
As if this stand of integrity wasn’t enough Daniel then followed this request with a
guarantee! Talk about faith! He told the palace official “test what I say and see if I’m
right.” Check out Verse 12 and 13,
"Please test your servants for ten days: Give us
nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with
that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance
with what you see."
Daniel went in with confidence because he knew the Lord would
honor his request if he honored the Lord.
"So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days"
Now the rubber was to meet the road. The Israelite had stepped out in faith and put
everything on the line. Would God be faithful or was Daniel going to fall flat on his face?
10 days passed and guess what happened? Daniel looked better and had responded
better than anyone else in the entire kingdom. It is an amazing testament to Daniel.
Right? Wrong! It is not about Daniel but about God. Verse 17 says,
"God gave
knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could
understand visions and dreams of all kinds."
God had showed up in a radical way!
So what do we take out of this introductory story in Daniel? We can have the assurance
that even in the toughest of times and the hardest of circumstances, God is faithful! The
question for me is, am I? Am I willing to take a stand for what I believe in even when it
may cost me dearly? Am I strong enough to challenge status quo and put God on
display for the world around me to see? Will I allow my life to be used by God even if it
is easier to shrink back and hide? I pray I will be ready to respond with courage and
integrity when these challenges arise. I believe that just like in Daniel’s world, we live in
a time that is in desperate need of heroes. Our world needs men and women of faith
who will stand in the face of brokenness and let God shine through our lives, our
choices, and our faith in Him!