Crystal Writes A Blog

A Place to Read What "Crystal-Writes"

Cringing Enemy, Trampling Victor


Trampling Triceratops by Flickr User Alex Morales, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike

Trampling Triceratops by Flickr User Alex Morales, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

If you read the article at “Got Questions dot org” at the link I gave in yesterday’s post, you know that the tribe of Asher had a future that sounds much like our own future. God gave Asher power and strength to take out the enemy’s of Israel that occupied the land of their inheritance. Asher backed down and did not drive out the Canaanites. That left Asher in bondage that God did not intend. As Christians, we often back down while trying to be harmless as doves, and we too can end up in bondage. We let enemies in our gates because we think our Christian example will win them to The Lord.

In today’s reading from Deuteronomy 33:27 through Deuteronomy 33:29, we’ll finish the chapter, and we’ll read about the power given to all Israel. I thought the blessing for Asher was to continue, but Moses tricked me and switched gears. 🙂 Anyway, it’s only three verses, so I’ll paste the text here from the Complete Jewish Bible

The God of old is a dwelling-place,
with everlasting arms beneath.
He expelled the enemy before you
and he said, ‘Destroy!’
So Isra’el lives in security;
the fountain of Ya‘akov is alone
in a land of grain and new wine,
where the skies drip with dew.
Happy are you, Isra’el!
“Who is like you, a people saved by Adonai,
your defender helping you
and your sword of triumph?
Your enemies will cringe before you,
but you will trample down their high places.”

Moses sure knows God well. He captures God’s power and authority, but he also captures His parental and protective love. I find comfort just in the words about God’s “everlasting arms” being beneath the dwelling place of Israel. Because Israel is safe with God, and because God made the first strike against the enemy, He enabled Israel to finish the job and destroy all that was left standing against them.

With authority over the enemy, Israel can live securely in places of abundance and pleasure (grain and wine). Israel is happy under the cover of God’s blessings and dwelling in His salvation. God is Israel’s defender, and Moses speaks this blessing to Israel beautifully. He calls Yahveh Israel’s “sword of triumph” and promises God’s authority over Israel’s enemies. Moses says the enemies will cringe before Israel, but Israel will trample the places where they worship false gods (high places).

I almost named this post Crouching Enemy, Trampling Victor because I wondered whether “cringe” was really the right word in the Scripture. However, when I looked it up in other translations, the cringing is right but there’s more to it. In the Amplified Bible, it reads this way…

Your enemies shall come fawning and cringing, and submit feigned obedience to you, and you shall march on their high places.

It appears the fawning and cringing and acting like they’re in obedience is to save their own lives, not to crouch as if ready to pounce. Maybe the enemy here hopes that if they play the game right, God and Israel will let them worship their false gods without interruption. Obviously, they are wrong because God will never allow people to worship that which represents His enemy.

It’s interesting this should be the Scripture portion for today as our family has just had another major upheaval this very day. If you’ve been following me, you’ll remember the nephew that was in a coma due to an overdose on heroin and morphine from snorting a pill called Opana. You know that God did a great miracle and brought him out of it, and he came home with us 8 weeks later. While he was in therapy and all of it was real to him, he was grateful and knew it was God who brought him through. He even mentioned getting saved.

But, the question is, was he grateful or was he “fawning and cringing in feigned obedience” to get all we offered? Having lived with us before, he knew our rules, but today he tried to sneak out early in the morning. He said we had too many rules about his not spending hours on the phone with strange girls he met on dating sites. He didn’t like that we found out he was getting high again. And who was there to help him? Why, the mother who brought him into the world of drugs and demons to begin with.

Yes, I’m talking about the mother who caused so many problems when he was in the hospital. Read the old posts starting on March 13th to catch some of the details. This mother, whose first words to her comatose son were to call him an idiot, has encouraged him to leave a good future for a bad one. The mother of his baby won’t bring his daughter around him if he’s using drugs or living with his own destructive mother, so now he won’t be seeing his daughter. If his mother takes his disability money, he won’t be able to pay his child support, and he’ll do the five years in prison that is currently on diversion. He definitely won’t see his beautiful daughter then.

So, now you’re back up to date on that situation. We’ve been wounded, but through prayer and friends, we are at peace. We are sheltered in God’s everlasting arms, and we know He is the victor & all things work together for the good. We’re sorry this young man could receive a miracle directly from the hands of a loving God and turn it down for freedom to party and get in trouble. Why should we think free rent, food, transportation, and lots of love would be enough for him when the cross was not? But God will trample the places of the false gods that wish to kill, steal, and destroy any good God wants in his (or any) life. We pray he gets away from the enemy’s camp before it happens. If not, he will be one of the cringing enemies in the way of a Trampling Victor.

October 2, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory


Morning Glory by Flickr User Terry Dunn, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works

Morning Glory by Flickr User Terry Dunn, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

Can I tell you how many times I have gone to church services or patriotic gatherings and watched hubby cringe and grimace when they play The Battle Hymn of the Republic? Well, that’s pretty much every time. Hubby has a southern heart, and he is amazed at how many people, both southern and Christian, do not realize the history behind the song. If you click on the title, you can read the Wikipedia page showing that the song was written to proclaim victory for the Union Armies over the Confederate Armies. The lyric writer, Julia Ward Howe, was a Union sympathizer, and she believed God was on their side and would have His wrath against the south, so even when we sing it as unto The Lord taking victory over the enemy of our souls, he hears the original meaning behind the lyrics. And he should be happy that I am spreading the word about the truth behind the lyrics. 🙂

In today’s reading from Deuteronomy 3:15 through Deuteronomy 3:22, we finish another week and another portion of Torah, and we have Moses bringing things up to their present time. Moses finishes describing which lands go to which tribes, and then he tells of the last order he passed along from God. He reminds Israel that they can leave the women and children and livestock, but they are to march into The Promised Land armed and ready to fight for what God is giving them. After they win, they will come back to reclaim their families and cattle, and they will settle into their various possessions.

The portion concludes with Moses reminding the people of the words of encouragement he spoke to Joshua. From verses 21 and 22, we read…

Your eyes have seen everything that Adonai your God has done to these two kings. Adonai will do the same to all the kingdoms you encounter when you cross over. Don’t be afraid of them, because Adonai your God will fight on your behalf.

God wanted Moses to remind the people, and to remind Joshua, not to forget what they have seen. If they can keep their minds on those victories of the past, then knowing God is going with them into their future should be enough to help them keep up the good fight of faith. If they keep up the good fight, they can be sure they will win because God is fighting right there on their side.

I think we all have days that sometimes extend into longer periods of time where we begin to wonder if God is really fighting on our side with us. We lose battles, and we see friends lose battles, and it makes us think that maybe loss is the will of God for us. But while God may allow us to lose some battles in this lifetime, He will not allow us to lose the most important war, the war for our souls and the souls of others. It is not His will that any person should be lost, so whatever path we walk, it should be one that moves us forward in the great battle for the gathering of human souls to their Maker and Creator.

Whether we have seen it in our own lives, or read it in God’s word, we have seen the glory of God’s salvation. The change that comes over a person when he commits his life to Yahveh is indescribably wonderful. I think about the crazy man at the tombs, and how he was filled with so many demons that he would rip off his clothes and cut his body with sharp stones. We find at his deliverance that he was filled with a legion of demons. And yet, when Yeshua walked toward him, a thousand demons might have held his tongue so it was impossible for him to ask for salvation, but they could not stop him from running to meet his Savior who gave him the victory he needed. When the disciples caught up with Jesus, they found the man clothed and in his right mind. How amazing is that?

We are told in 2 Corinthians 3:18 that God will continually change us from one degree of glory to the next. If we simply continue to walk with Him and never forget the glories we have already seen, we can keep the faith to keep up the good fight.

(By the way, if you like to read stories about God working in human lives and bringing victories both big and small, I’d like to recommend the books written by my friend and sister in Christ, Deborah Aubrey Peyron. Her books, The Miraculous Interventions(TM) Series, are collections of stories from her own life, and from the lives of others, showing where God intervenes in the human life and world. She thought God only intended for her to write them down to remind her of His presence, so she could keep up the good fight, but when people started asking her when her book was due, she got the message. She has just released her third book in the series, and she will continue to write in the series as long as God sends her people with stories to be told.)

July 25, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Got Shoes


Strong Shoes for Strong Paths by Flickr User Corrie ten Boom Museum, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works

Strong Shoes by Flickr User Corrie ten Boom Museum, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.
I recommend a visit to this Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/corrietenboom/ It is filled with inspirational quotes from Corrie ten Boom.

“I’ve got shoes, they’re made of plywood…” is the beginning of a misheard lyric line from You’re the One that I Want out of the movie Grease. It’s only one of many misheard lines from songs that you kind find in books and online searches. But not all songs about shoes are misheard. There’s an old Johnny Cash song that says “all God’s children got shoes,” and then it says, “Gonna put on my shoes and walk all over God’s Heaven.” It’s a catchy tune, and you’ve probably heard it once or twice. If not, you can listen to it at YouTube, and you might even recognize it.

In today’s reading from Deuteronomy 2:31 through Deuteronomy 3:14, we won’t read about shoes, but we will read about what happens when God tells you where to walk. Moses is talking about when God prepared Israel to overtake Sihon, King of Heshbon. He relates how the king and all his people came out against Israel, but because Israel was acting in obedience to overtake the land as God directed, they defeated him, his sons, and all his people. Moses tells them how they took every city and utterly destroyed every city and its inhabitants, and that no city was too strong or walled high enough because God handed it all over to them.

There were cities that God said to stay away from because He had plans for them, so Israel obeyed and did not attack those places. But then God told them to turn up the road to Bashan and go against Og, the king of Bashan. Again, the king and all his people came out against them, and again Israel defeated them because God gave them victory. Israel defeated all sixty of the king’s cities even though they were highly fortified with walls, gates, and bars. In addition, they took many unprotected cities.

At the end of the battles, Moses tells how he divided the possessions of the cities among the tribes. The territory from Aroer at the edge of the valley to half the hill country of Gilead Moses gave to the sons of Reuben and Gad. The rest of Gilead he gave to the half tribe of Manasseh. The kingdom of Og was called the “kingdom of giants” because when they found Og’s iron bed, it measured about thirteen and a half by six feet. Now that’s one huge guy, and you better know that God is with you before you go after someone like that.

Life is filled with giants and battles that God wants to give us victory over, but we must trust God to arm us, train us, and suit us up for battle before we can fight effectively. We can’t look at our own weaknesses because it will turn our focus away from God and toward our situation. It’s just like when Peter obeyed Jesus and walked on the water; he didn’t start to sink until he took his eyes off of Jesus and put them on the waves instead. The world is God’s to give, so if He says to do battle and overtake the enemy, it’s only because He has already planned our victory and the enemy’s defeat.

The song says, “I got shoes, you got shoes,” and we do. Ephesians 6:14-16 (in the Common English Bible) says it this way…

So stand with the belt of truth around your waist, justice as your breastplate, and put shoes on your feet so that you are ready to spread the good news of peace. Above all, carry the shield of faith so that you can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

We have our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, and we can walk through (and out of) any valley of defeat on this earth and keep walking until we’re stepping on Heaven’s streets of gold.

July 24, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Soldiers of Praise


Fort Rucker National Prayer Breakfast Feeds Bodies and Souls by Flickr User Fort Rucker, CC License = Attribution

Fort Rucker National Prayer Breakfast Feeds Bodies and Souls by Flickr User Fort Rucker, CC License = Attribution
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

For some reason, there are certain people whose praise touches me more deeply than others. Maybe it’s because I can see more sincerity in the praise of some, such as those who have struggled in life. Maybe I’m just sensing or discerning sincerity at times, and it’s just a coincidence that I notice it with people who don’t have it so easy. Whatever it is, knowing what soldiers go through and knowing the risks they take for my freedom, when I see them thank God for their lives and their victories, it blesses me. Because God is the giver of life and victory, I imagine it greatly blesses God as well.

In today’s reading from Numbers 31:42 through Numbers 31:54 (the end of the chapter), we begin with the tribute Moses takes from the spoils that were divided among the people. Moses gave one-fiftieth of the materials, animals, and people to the Levites for the continued operations of the tabernacle, and since just in sheep alone there were 337,500, it was a pretty big tribute.

The reading continues with the commanders giving Moses the report that all the returning troops have been counted, and not one man has been lost. The commanders then announce they have brought an offering to Moses and Eleazar, and since it says that each man decided on his own what to give, it appears this is above and beyond the tribute of one-five-hundredth that was taken off the top as a tribute to The Lord. When all the gold and jewelry was counted, it totaled over 420 pounds that the soldiers brought to the Tent of Meeting as a reminder of Israel before God.

What I see here is a gathering of soldiers who are grateful for their lives and for their victory, and they have chosen to thank God for these gifts by voluntarily offering gifts of their own. Because God showed them favor and there was literally no man left behind, the soldiers were able to offer that much more of a gift of praise.

God loves to show us His mercy, grace, and favor. I think He shows these things because He loves us, but I also think shows them because He wants the praise they should generate. If a person does something just for praise, it is arrogant, but when The God of All Creation pours His gifts out on us, He is more than deserving of our thanksgiving. In this lifetime of battle for our souls and the souls of others, we will have victories because God will give them to us. We may stand in our armor (also given by Him) and fight the good fight, but the victory always belongs to The Lord, so the praise always belongs to Him as well. Let us bless God in every battle and in every victory by becoming soldiers of praise.

July 9, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When War is Your Only Option


War and Peace by Flickr User Jayel Aheram, CC License = Attribution

War and Peace by Flickr User Jayel Aheram, CC License = Attribution
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

I had a wonderful day at the conference, and there was so much to learn from so many people that are willing to share because they value this calling from God to write as He leads. Liz Curtis Higgs, our keynote speaker, is as much entertaining as instructive, and she is humble enough to tell on herself in humorous ways that make us laugh with her.

But, as much fun as training can be, in the real field of life, the training is not just an exercise but is often real war, and there’s nothing we can do to change that. Of course, we all want peace, and we all want life to be comfortable, but we also want to stay young forever while gaining in the wisdom and authority that comes with age and not gaining in the pains and responsibilities. But that’s not reality anymore than the idea that all things will be at peace just because we want them to be.

In today’s reading from Numbers 21:21 through Numbers 22:1, we finish out our week and our 7th section of the week’s portion with another attempt on the part of Israel to pass through a land owned by a rival king. Israel does the right thing by sending a request to the king and promising to stay on The King’s Highway without entering into any of the fields or vineyards of the city or kingdom.

Most would say that Israel was being a peacemaker, but Sihon, king of the Amorites, didn’t care. He mustered all his people, and they went out to fight against Israel. Of course, because God is on the side of Israel, they defeated the Amorites by a force of arms and took control of all his land up to the river near the people of Amon. Israel did not fight the well-defended territory of the Ammonites but stayed in Heshbon and the cities they defeated.

While Israel was staying in the land of the Amorites, Moses sent men to recon Jazer, and they captured its towns and defeated the Amorites that lived there. Then they turned and went along the road to Bashan where Og, the king of Bashan, came out against them with all his people. God told Moses not to be afraid and said he had given them to Israel just as He had given them Sichon, so they defeated all of them until no one was left alive and took control of that land as well. They stopped to camp in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan River, opposite Jericho, and that’s where the portion ends.

When I saw the mention of the Jordan River, I immediately thought of all the references we give in Christianity where death is compared to crossing “the chilly Jordan.” Somehow, that made me realize that God was giving all these life-giving victories to a people who would not even enter into The Promised Land. So, other than needing someone to raise the next generation who would enter, God didn’t necessarily need these people and could have let them die in all these battles. But He did not let them die because they were still His people, and He still loved them.

I think of all the times I am certain I have disappointed God, but He has delivered me in spite of myself. Just today, someone prayed with me about my uncertainties in things like writing, reading, singing, etc., and the part that meant the most was the reminder that if I have chosen to serve God, all my steps are ordered of Him–even in those places where I am uncomfortable. Israel dealt with all the stuff we do these days: discomfort, hopelessness, depression, and war in response to their call for peace. God continued to order the steps of Israel and give them victory in spite of themselves. Even when war is our only option, if God is our only Captain, we can face the enemy with confidence that He is ordering our steps and giving us victory.

June 20, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Battle in Clay


I know some things may seem to just be things, but I am one of those who believes that everything and everyone has a purpose. In today’s reading from Genesis 14, verses 1 through 20, we find a battle among kings. Five kings to four kings to be exact. And if you want to read all their names and such, just click the link since The Complete Jewish Bible has them listed mostly phonetically. Anyway, in this battle of kings, they are fighting in a valley filled with clay pits where many fall in.

When I read of clay in the Scriptures, I always think of the flesh. So, here are a bunch of kings (people with authority–some to do good and some to do evil) fighting not to fall into clay pits (flesh). And I don’t think it’s just chance that this valley is near the Dead Sea. The evil kings have kidnapped Lot, the nephew of Abram who we introduced in yesterday’s reading. Abram calls on those born and trained in his own household to go out to battle with him and rescue that which belongs to him (Lot) who is likely in the valley of pits himself. They succeed and bring back Lot, his possessions, and all the women and children that were taken with him.

Not only is this a battle with which most who serve God and reject the flesh are acquainted, it ends with the kind of victory most of us seek. They get help from like-minded soldiers, and they take back what the enemy has stolen. When it is all said and done, Abram goes to meet the King of Salem (later called Jerusalem), aka King of Peace, and the King, Melchizedek, blesses him. When we get victories over the flesh, we praise God for His mercy and deliverance, and since Melchizedek was a high priest for God, it was a similar action. As part of their meeting, they shared bread and wine, and at the close, Abram gave the first recorded tithe (tenth) I’ve read about.

So next time you feel like you are in a valley of pits, gather some prayer warriors and fight to win. Scripture tells us that we have more who stand on our side than we have who stand against us. It also says that He who is within us is greater than he who is in the world. We can win in our battles if we open our eyes and take care not to fall into the pits of flesh. Oh, and when we win, we can offer our praises to Christ our King of Peace.

And here’s a nice chorus about the subject from the song, He Brought Me Out of the Miry Clay

He brought me out of the miry clay,
He set my feet on the Rock to stay;
He puts a song in my soul today,
A song of praise, hallelujah!

Also, if you’d like to read some interesting information about the connection between Melchizedek and Jesus, check out an article from Hebrew for Christians where you can also find more commentary on this Torah portion.

October 15, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

   

Released!

Women of Grace inspires and equips women to love and serve God.

The Grammar Sherpa

Your guide through the rocky terrain of grammar, punctuation, and word usage

Kentucky Christian Writers Conference

Equipping Christian Writers

Revealing Truth Today

Standing for the truth and sharing Jesus with others!

this girl's journey to serenity

i was drowning in his addiction

Cleanin' Up

Language, Attitude, Health, and Home

Miller Theology

Duane's Miller's commentary on Christianity and culture

Inkspirations Online

A well of inspiration and encouragement for Christian writers

3rd Letter Writers

Telling Stories. Sharing Life.

Quills & Inkblotts

Because the world needs good stories

dwwritesblog

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” — Albert Einstein

Truth in Reality

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge...." (Hosea 4:6)

Loved, chosen, & empowered

Learning to follow Christ one day at a time

Hallelujah

Thinking about all the reasons we have for praising our LORD.

CLADACH Publishing

Producing and Providing Inspirational Books

The Narrowing Path

walking together in truth and love.

Happy Eco Mama

Green parenting, positive psychology and connecting our little ones to the natural world

Create With Joy

Infuse Creativity In All You Do

Stories With Heart

Blog of Best Selling author David Johnson

Andrew M. Friday

website of science fiction author Andrew M. Friday

Above All Else

Thoughts from Katie Foster

Crystal Writes A Blog

A Place to Read What "Crystal-Writes"

Editor

Simply beautiful publishing powered by WordPress.

THE WORD on The Word of Faith (a GroupBlog)

BREAKING FREE from The Word of Faith Movement & telling the World about it! TELL US YOUR STORY

behind the lens

the view from the other side of the window

Blaire McDaniel

Finding God in the Gray.

The Matt Walsh Blog

Absolute Truths (and alpaca grooming tips) **Facebook.com/MattWalshBlog

On Faith and Writing

A Daughter of the King

Christian Design and Video Share

A great WordPress.com site

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Socialism is not the Answer

Limited Government Is

By the Blood of the Lamb

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb...

Iris Grace Painting

imagine, create, inspire

Today's Author

Fostering a community of creative writers through articles, comments, writing prompts and a healthy, supportive environment.

Louisville Christian Writers blog

For members of LCW to spread their blogging wings or reblog their own posts.

Monica Mynk

Stories of Broken Girls, Seeking Love, Finding His Truth

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

Women: Each One A Survivor

Enjoying Every Moment

Jessie Jeanine

A survivor inspired by the tragedies and triumphs of life.

DiscernIt

Deut 32:28 "They are a nation without sense, there is no discernment in them."

%d bloggers like this: