When God’s In The Wrong Seat

January 22nd, 2015

driver photoBetween the birth of Lil Bit last October and our enforced exile from our bedrooms last September, life has been chaotic, to say the least.

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry…

My original intent was to have a set of Bible studies posted during December for the season of Advent and at least one message uploaded for each week in Advent. As you may have noticed, that didn’t happen. I revised that schedule and decided to go back to my regular monthly Bible study and monthly message starting the first of January. As yet, I’ve only been able to write most of the message. Recording it, however, is turning out to be wishful thinking on my part. As for the Bible study, I might still be able to post it by next Wednesday — maybe.

The same challenges have cropped up in regards to the next book in the Malkin series. I normally write the bulk of those during NaNoWriMo in November and finish drafting it in December, then start planning the novella in January. I just started the next novel in the series this month and I’m struggling to get the scenes drafted. The novella? I haven’t even begun to think about it.

Those are just my writing challenges. On top of those we’ve had to remove all the drywall from all the bedrooms and the bathroom downstairs within a few days because there was significant mold growth on the backing. And of course, one can’t ignore the piles of dishes in the sink or Mt. Washmore by the laundry room. Nor can one turn a deaf ear to the rumbling of stomachs, unless, of course, one enjoys a good mutiny. Oh! And let’s not forget the bills accumulating in the “to pay” file.

That’s where I was last Monday when at 5 a.m. God reached down and reminded me that I can’t do it all.

You can’t do it all…

I woke up to feed Lil Bit, as usual, but scooting to the end of the air mattress to get to her was painful. I noticed I was feeling a bit stiff and sore earlier in the night, but hadn’t thought much about it other than to make a note that I’d need a good, hot shower to work the kinks out in the morning. Despite the pain, I levered myself up from the floor (did I mention the air mattress has a leak I’m still trying to fix?) and took a step toward her bassinet…

and promptly collapsed back on the mattress. The pain shot through my body like lightening, making me light-headed and nauseated. I managed to gasp out to my sleeping husband that I needed his help and, thankfully, he was able to take control from there to take care of both me and our youngest baby.

When morning finally arrived, I took stock of what didn’t hurt. It wasn’t much. Everything from my neck to my knees screamed at even the thought of movement. The joints in my hands ached as if I had arthritis. My muscles protested like rusted cables.

“What am I going to do?” I wondered.

My husband needed to get to work. My mother wasn’t due to arrive for our girls’ day out until later that morning. I was going to have to disappoint my oldest daughter, Blur, and tell her Mommy couldn’t take her to get her hair cut today. And what about all the other things I had planned to do that day?

As my husband fed Lil Bit, I broke the news to Blur. She seemed remarkably calm, offering to take care of me until I felt better. She fixed me a bowl full of saltines and a cup of hot 7up, brought me my phone to call Grandma and proceeded to check on me every few minutes. I couldn’t have asked for a better little caretaker.

A few hours later, my husband had gone to work and my Mom had arrived to take over caring for the girls. I was feeling a little better, thanks to the Tylenol I’d taken earlier, and went ahead with my plans for a shower. As the water pounded out the rest of the stiffness, I pondered what could be behind the sudden onset. I couldn’t think of anything I’d done that would have elicited such a strong reaction by my body. One thought, though, kept running through my mind.

This was my body’s way of telling me I needed to take a break.

And on the heels of that, “You’ve prayed for God to take control of all these challenges. Maybe you need to hand the wheel over to Him.”

Moving into the passenger seat…

I decided then to just take the day one moment at a time and let God take care of the details. Since then I’ve done that each day, reminding myself when I start getting anxious that I’ve let God have the driver’s seat in my life. I won’t say my pain went away miraculously or that every day since then has been a breeze, but it’s getting better. The pain is finally gone and the anxieties are under control.

As for the work? I’ve decided to adopt the saying “progress, not perfection.” I will continue to post Bible studies, but they may not be on a specific day every month. My monthly messages will be uploaded as .pdfs, but the podcast may be added at a later date. As long as I’m getting scenes drafted I won’t worry about when I’ll have the book finished and ready to be published.

Progress, not perfection. Its about putting God in the right seat. So long as He’s driving, you’ll always end up exactly where you need to be.

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Knowing When To Slow Down

August 21st, 2014

Sometimes life slams you across the head with a 2×4 to get your attention.

20140816_030902That’s what’s happened recently in my household. As if being 7 months pregnant wasn’t enough to remind me that I need to slow down and take care of myself and my family, last Friday’s torrential rain storm certainly was.

Our finished basement was flooded with about 6 inches of backed up sewer water that night. Might not have been a big deal, except that’s where our bedrooms are. Imagine the horror of waking up at 1 a.m. and setting your feet into ankle deep, ice cold water that wasn’t there when you went to sleep. Hubby, God bless him, not only stayed up until 6 a.m. trying to suck up as much water as possible in our borrowed shop vac, he also had the brilliant idea to call our insurance company. (My 5-year-old daughter says he saved her life, too, by carrying her upstairs so I could drive her out to my folks warm, dry house to spend the rest of the night.)

Since then it’s been a matter of focusing on the next step for the insurance claim and “where do we go from here?”

That brings me back to my original thought: knowing when to slow down.

God always takes care of us. Sometimes, though, we neglect to listen to God’s guidance and just barrel on through, which often ends in our being forced to reconsider what we thought was important. That’s what’s happened to me.

During the summer, my daughter was on vacation, so my writing schedule was extra tight. I had, at most, one hour to do everything writer related–business, monthly messages and studies, and drafting my newest Bible study, Trust God. I pushed on, believing that if other mother’s could do it, so could I, pregnant or not.

Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Not a big deal. I had it with my first daughter, so I knew what to expect. Still, there are times when low blood sugar causes some irritating side effects, like feeling like I’m slogging through half-set Jell-O. And yet, I did not head the message to slow down.

Then last Friday’s flood was the last straw. I’m now faced with trying to live in 800 square feet of space with my husband and daughter and our mountains of stuff. All our 20140816_104632clean clothes are piled in the kitchen. Everything that could be moved from downstairs is now residing either in our shed or our dining room. The living room is now our dining room and bedroom. Our poor neurotic cat is stuck in my parents’ basement garage, hiding somewhere. And we have less than 2 months before the new baby arrives.

I think it’s time to re-think my schedule.

I am certainly not complaining. It could be much worse. We could have had a house fire. The multi-outlet surge protectors we usually have on the floor of our bedrooms could have been in the water and we all could have been electrocuted. Any number of other scenarios could have played out, but they didn’t. All in all, I think we’ve been blessed.

Perhaps the biggest blessing is my realization that I need to slow down and focus on the most important things right now. I need to focus on my family and our welfare at the moment.

Here’s what you can expect from me for the next few months.

Journeyman-Cat15percentI may be rather scarce on social media and my regular monthly posts may become much more irregular, as might my monthly newsletter. I’ll be diligently working on releasing Master Cat in October, as promised, and finally releasing the audiobook for Journeyman Cat later this fall (fingers crossed).

Beyond that, I’m working on the first of the Master Cat Novel series, which takes place after Master Cat and continues the story of Toby and his partner Lorn. I’ll also be drafting the third in the Malkin novella series, featuring Nadine and her continuing struggle to understand what it means to be specially chosen by the One.

I also have plans for another inspirational book on how to pray and see the blessings around us while in the midst of crises.

My normal schedule for new releases is a Malkin novella in the spring, a Bible study or inspirational book in the summer, and a Master Cat novel in the fall. However, things being what they are, release dates may need to be pushed back a month or two (or three or four. You get the picture). It’s frustrating to me, but I put my faith in God’s timing and I hope you’ll join me on this new, if slower, adventure called the writer’s life.

***

GFront-Cover-25-percentod promises to be with us through everything,
encouraging us to trust him through every situation we encounter.

Individuals and groups alike will find themselves
discovering that every day is a new opportunity to see God’s touch on their lives as they journey through scripture to uncover that:

  • No Matter Who You Are…
  • No Matter How You Feel…
  • No Matter What People Do…
  • No Matter What Happens..
  • No Matter Where You Are…
  • No Matter How Little You Have…
  • No Matter What You’ve Done…
  • No Matter How Old You Are…

Trust God!
Paperback edition also available on Amazon.

Ebook version available for Kindle, InkteraNookKobo, and Scribd or…

buy the .pdf version here

Vol1Cover25percent

Get six Bible based, inspirational messages by Virginia Ripple from the blog One Servant’s Heart all in one .zip file.

Messages include:

  • Called to Forgive Called to Serve
  • New Beginnings
  • No Fear In Love
  • The Boneyard
  • The Dirty Little Penny
  • The Hardest Commandment

Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

Simply Prayer ebook

When we find ourselves stymied by what we think prayer should look like, it’s time to step back and think like a child. God loves each of us and wants to hear from us.

Prayer can be as complex as we want or as simple as we need, but sometimes we need a little help getting started. In this book you’ll discover the basics of:

  • What prayer is
  • Why we pray
  • How to pray
  • How to know your prayers are answered

From repetitions to labyrinths to dancing to journals, it is all Simply Prayer.

Ebook version available for NookKindleKobo, and Scribd or…

buy the .pdf version here

You can purchase this book at Amazon.com or in my CreateSpace store front.

Or Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

Fear NotWhen life seems impossible to cope with, God reaches out to remind us of his promises for our lives. Journey through scripture to meet God in new and unexpected ways as you discover what it means to “Fear Not!”

Anyone can use Fear Not to meet God in new and unexpected ways.  Each of the eight sessions begins with an introduction, then moves on to a scripture reading (included), questions to ponder, a meditation picture and lastly a list of possible hands-on projects you can do.

The eight sessions are:

  • Session 1 … God is always with us
  • Session 2 … God is in control
  • Session 3 … God keeps his promises
  • Session 4 … God keeps us safe
  • Session 5 … God provides for us
  • Session 6 … God reveals himself to us
  • Session 7 … God gives us new life
  • Session 8 … God sends a Helper to us

Ebook version available for NookKindleKobo, and Scribd or …

 buy the .pdf version here

Paperback edition also available on Amazon.com or in my Lulu.com store front at: Virginia’s Store Front.

God Reveals Himself To Us: Matthew 14 22-33, 16 13-19

June 25th, 2014

bigstock-Open-Bible-glowing-with-Cross-26156423

Matthew 14 22-33, 16 13-19

“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Matthew 16 16

Whether it is in the face of a delighted child or the crash of thunder during a storm, God reveals himself to us. Sometimes he catches our attention in a way we cannot ignore, like when he appeared to Moses in the burning bush. Sometimes we miss seeing or hearing him entirely. Many times we eagerly race toward God only to become afraid as we begin looking around us, just as Peter did when he stepped out of the boat to meet Jesus on the water.

Although God wants us to see and hear him each time he reveals himself to us, he doesn’t stop reaching out just because we weren’t paying attention. God repeatedly revealed himself through Jesus even though those around Jesus often mistook his acts as those of someone else . The reason Jesus’ acts were attributed to the return of a prophet was most likely because God was revealing himself in a way the people of the time were not expecting, yet Peter saw him for who he was and proclaimed in Matthew 16:16, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Seeing God reveal himself in our day to day lives means being aware of our surroundings and, sometimes, expecting the unexpected.

As you read Matthew 14 22-33, 16 13-19, try to remember a time in your life in which God revealed himself to you. Then, download the Questions and Reflections and take some time to work through them before engaging in the Meditation Activities below.

 

 

Meditation Activites

Jynette w funky do

 

Find a quiet place, preferably in nature, and take 10 to 20 minutes to contemplate what the above image means to you as it relates to the reading of Matthew 14 22-33, 16 13-19, then choose as many of the following suggestions as you would like to express your thoughts and feelings outwardly.

  1. In your journal, write a free-flow of thoughts and descriptive images as they come to you regarding the picture and its relationship to how God provides for you.
  2. Spend some time with a child. Notice their reaction to discovering something new. Think about how God might be revealing himself to you in a new way.
  3. Go to a park or zoo. Watch the people and animals around you and ask God to reveal himself in a special way. If you have the equipment, take some pictures. Put the pictures together in a scrapbook or collage to remind you of a time God revealed himself to you.
  4. Decide on your own creative way to express your feelings and thoughts regarding how God has provided for you.

***

For more non-fiction work, including Bible studies, check out my Non-Fiction page.

You can also purchase your eBook copy of Fear Not! Discovering God’s Promises for Our Lives for NookKindleKobo, and on Scribd or a paperback copy from Paperback edition also available on Amazon.com or in my Lulu.com store front at: Virginia’s Store Front.

New-Subscriber-thumbnailIf you haven’t already, sign up for my monthly newsletter to get sneak peeks (such as first chapters before they’re published) and special prices just for fans. Just enter your email address in the sidebar and click subscribe. Sign up today and download my thank you gift Behind the Scenes: The Malkin Stories.

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God Provides For Us: Exodus 15 22-17 7

May 28th, 2014

bigstock-Open-Bible-glowing-with-Cross-26156423

Exodus 15 22-17 7

“Yahweh shall give you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to satisfy you.”

Exodus 16 8

It is quite easy to believe God will provide for you when you have your basic needs. However, not many of us can say that we trust God to provide for us in the midst of our problems. When loved ones suddenly become ill or we’re surrounded by debts that continue to pile up, when we lose a job we need to survive or a disaster strikes and we lose everything it becomes more than just a challenge to believe God will take care of our needs.

Crises test our faith in God’s abilities. Oftentimes we become like the Israelites, grumbling in the desert to Moses, asking if they were brought there to die of hunger. Yet God tells the Israelites through Moses in Exodus 16:8, “Yahweh shall give you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to satisfy you.”

Our needs do not end with the basics: food, shelter, clothing. Our needs include emotional and spiritual support. God can provide all of these, but we must ask and be open to God’s guidance once we have. God’s provisions sometimes come in unusual packages that we may not expect.

As you read Exodus 15 22-17 7, try to remember a time in your life in which God provided for you. Then, download the Questions and Reflections and take some time to work through them before engaging in the Meditation Activities below.

 

 

Meditation Activites

 

Produce

 

Find a quiet place, preferably in nature, and take 10 to 20 minutes to contemplate what the above image means to you as it relates to the reading of Exodus 15 22-17 7, then choose as many of the following suggestions as you would like to express your thoughts and feelings outwardly.

  1. In your journal, write a free-flow of thoughts and descriptive images as they come to you regarding the picture and its relationship to how God provides for you.
  2. Bake or buy a loaf of bread and take it to a friend. Start a conversation about how God has provided for your and your friend’s needs.
  3. Create some colored rice, or use plain rice, and place it in a jar where you will be able to see it on a regular basis. Think of all the ways God has provided for you.
  4. Decide on your own creative way to express your feelings and thoughts regarding how God has provided for you.

***

For more non-fiction work, including Bible studies, check out my Non-Fiction page.

You can also purchase your eBook copy of Fear Not! Discovering God’s Promises for Our Lives for NookKindleKobo, and on Scribd or a paperback copy from Paperback edition also available on Amazon.com or in my Lulu.com store front at: Virginia’s Store Front.
New-Subscriber-thumbnailIf you haven’t already, sign up for my monthly newsletter to get sneak peeks (such as first chapters before they’re published) and special prices just for fans. Just enter your email address in the sidebar and click subscribe. Sign up today and download my thank you gift Behind the Scenes: The Malkin Stories.

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God Keeps Us Safe: Exodus 14 13

April 30th, 2014

bigstock-Open-Bible-glowing-with-Cross-26156423

Exodus 14 13

“Don’t be afraid.”

Exodus 14 13

Everyone at some point in their lives experiences something that scares them, something that seems impossible to overcome. For one it may be the diagnosis of an illness. For another it may be a looming mountain of debt. For yet another it is the possibility, or perhaps the reality, of being homeless. And for someone else it may be the loss of a significant relationship. The list of frightening experiences is endless.

At times we may feel like the Israelites trapped between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea. The odds seem insurmountable and God seems so far away. Even though he has kept us safe until that moment, it is difficult to believe that this time isn’t different, that this time God will care for us just as he has before. Yet, God continues to be with us regardless of whether we believe he will be or not.

Just as Moses tells the Israelites, “Don’t be afraid,” in Exodus 14 13, God reminds us that we have no need to fear the seemingly impossible circumstances of our lives because he cares for us and is with us always.

As you read Exodus 14:1-15:21, try to remember a time in your life in which God cared for you. Then, download the Questions and Reflections and take some time to work through them before engaging in the Meditation Activities below.

 

 

Meditation Activites

 

 

Canyon

Find a quiet place, preferably in nature, and take ten to 20 minutes to contemplate what the above image means to you as it relates to the reading of Exodus 14:1-15:21, then choose as many of the following suggestions as you would like to express your thoughts and feelings outwardly.

  1. In your journal, write a free-flow of thoughts and descriptive images as they come to you regarding the picture and its relationship to God caring for you.
  2. Take a walk near a river, lake, ocean or other body of water and collect rocks of various shapes and sizes, which remind you of your thoughts and feelings regarding the picture. Place the rocks somewhere you will see them on a regular basis.
  3. Create a tambourine to play while you “sing” your thoughts and feelings to God regarding the picture.
  4. Decide on your own creative way to express your feelings and thoughts regarding the picture and its relationship to God caring for you.

***

For more non-fiction work, including Bible studies, check out my Non-Fiction page.

You can also purchase your eBook copy of Fear Not! Discovering God’s Promises for Our Lives for NookKindleKobo, and on Scribd or a paperback copy from Paperback edition also available on Amazon.com or in my Lulu.com store front at: Virginia’s Store Front.
New-Subscriber-thumbnailIf you haven’t already, sign up for my monthly newsletter to get sneak peeks (such as first chapters before they’re published) and special prices just for fans. Just enter your email address in the sidebar and click subscribe. Sign up today and download my thank you gift Behind the Scenes: The Malkin Stories.

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    “It shall happen… according as he has promised….” Exodus 12:25 Believing God keeps his promises is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do. We’ve often had others break their promises and been guilty of breaking them ourselves. However, God shouldn’t be measured by human standards. Whether we believe…
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    “[God] said, ‘Certainly I will be with you.’” Exodus 3:12 Have you ever watched the latest news cast and wondered, “Where is God in all this?” Have you ever sat under the stars, feeling smaller than the smallest ant, and thought, “Is God out there somewhere?” Have you ever asked:…
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  • 92
    “Thus says Yaweh, ‘In this you shall know that I am Yaweh.’” Exodus 7:17 We have heard and read about the miracles God has performed both in the Bible and in modern times. Most of those miracles were obvious demonstrations of God’s power. However, the power of God comes in…
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God Keeps His Promises: Exodus 12 25

March 26th, 2014

bigstock-Open-Bible-glowing-with-Cross-26156423

Exodus 12 25

“It shall happen… according as he has promised….”

Exodus 12:25

Believing God keeps his promises is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do. We’ve often had others break their promises and been guilty of breaking them ourselves. However, God shouldn’t be measured by human standards. Whether we believe it or not, God does exactly as he says he will.

Moses reminds the Israelites in Exodus 12:25 “It shall happen… according as he has promised….” that God will bring them out of Egypt into a land of their own. The Passover celebration became the Israelites way of remembering that God kept his promise, not only to keep the firstborn among them safe, but also to bring them safely out of Egypt.

God’s promise to save the Israelites continued to echo through time, setting the scene for another important Passover sacrifice much later when Jesus was crucified. The sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God, was God’s way of continuing to keep his promise to save all his creation. In this salvation God declares his promise to be with us, to care for us, until time’s end. As he has demonstrated from Exodus 3:1 to 10:29, we can believe God does what he says he will do.

 As you read Exodus 11:1-12:42, try to remember a time in your life in which God did as he said he would do. Then, download the Questions and Reflections and take some time to work through them before engaging in the Meditation Activities below.

 

Meditation Activites

RipplesBW

Find a quiet place, preferably in nature, and take ten to 20 minutes to contemplate what the above image means to you as it relates to the reading of Exodus 11:1-12:42, then choose as many of the following suggestions as you would like to express your thoughts and feelings outwardly.

  1. In your journal, write a free-flow of thoughts and descriptive images as they come to you regarding the picture and its relationship to God doing what he says he’ll do.
  2. Create a collage of pictures showing your views on how what God has done in the past echoes in your own life as God continues to do as he says he will.
  3. Make some unleavened bread and share it with a friend. Discuss how God continues to do what he says he’ll do just as he did for the Israelites.

Decide on your own creative way to express your feelings and thoughts regarding the picture and its relationship to God being with you.

***

For more non-fiction work, including Bible studies, check out my Non-Fiction page.

You can also purchase your eBook copy of Fear Not! Discovering God’s Promises for Our Lives for NookKindleKobo, and on Scribd or a paperback copy from Paperback edition also available on Amazon.com or in my Lulu.com store front at: Virginia’s Store Front.
New-Subscriber-thumbnailIf you haven’t already, sign up for my monthly newsletter to get sneak peeks (such as first chapters before they’re published) and special prices just for fans. Just enter your email address in the sidebar and click subscribe. Sign up today and download my thank you gift Behind the Scenes: The Malkin Stories.

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God Is Powerful: Exodus 7 17

February 26th, 2014

bigstock-Open-Bible-glowing-with-Cross-26156423

Exodus 7 17

“Thus says Yaweh, ‘In this you shall know that I am Yaweh.’”

Exodus 7:17

We have heard and read about the miracles God has performed both in the Bible and in modern times. Most of those miracles were obvious demonstrations of God’s power. However, the power of God comes in all shapes and sizes from the miraculous healing of a terminally ill patient to the blessing of a gentle breeze on a hot summer day.

On a clear night, one can view the power of God in the stars either by the naked eye or by use of a telescope. NASA satellites have sent back amazing photos of galaxies in various formations from spirals that resemble a child’s pinwheel to irregular shapes that look like nothing else.

God’s miraculous power can even be observed in the smallest ant carrying a leaf to its colony and in the ability of a child’s cry to move the heart of an adult to soothe the child. The power of God is everywhere, visible to anyone who chooses to see it.

However, because God granted humans free will, we can decide to see God’s power or to turn away as Pharaoh did. Eventually, though, God makes it clear that it is God who is in control as he has Moses say to Pharaoh in Exodus 7:17, “Thus says Yahweh, ‘In this you shall know that I am Yahweh.’”

As you read Exodus 7:1-10:29, try to remember a time in your life in which God revealed his power. Then, download the Questions and Reflections and take some time to work through them before engaging in the Meditation Activities below.

 

Meditation Activites

Pinwheel galaxy

Find a quiet place, preferably in nature, and take ten to 20 minutes to contemplate what the above image of a pinwheel galaxy means to you as it relates to the reading of Exodus 7:1-10:29, then choose as many of the following suggestions as you would like to express your thoughts and feelings outwardly.

  1. In your journal, write a free-flow of thoughts and descriptive images as they come to you regarding the picture of the pinwheel galaxy and its relationship to God’s power.
  2. Create a pinwheel and give it to a friend going through a tough time. Describe your thoughts on how the pinwheel demonstrates God’s power in our lives.
  3. Choose a clear night to gaze at the stars. Let God know how you feel about his power and its influence on your life.
  4. Decide on your own creative way to express your feelings and thoughts regarding the picture and its relationship to God being with you.

***

For more non-fiction work, including Bible studies, check out my Non-Fiction page.

You can also purchase your eBook copy of Fear Not! Discovering God’s Promises for Our Lives for NookKindleKobo, and on Scribd or a paperback copy from Paperback edition also available on Amazon.com or in my Lulu.com store front at: Virginia’s Store Front.
New-Subscriber-thumbnailIf you haven’t already, sign up for my monthly newsletter to get sneak peeks (such as first chapters before they’re published) and special prices just for fans. Just enter your email address in the sidebar and click subscribe. Sign up today and download my thank you gift Behind the Scenes: The Malkin Stories.

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God Is With Us: Exodus 3 12

January 28th, 2014

bigstock-Open-Bible-glowing-with-Cross-26156423

Exodus 3 12

“[God] said, ‘Certainly I will be with you.’”
Exodus 3:12

Have you ever watched the latest news cast and wondered, “Where is God in all this?” Have you ever sat under the stars, feeling smaller than the smallest ant, and thought, “Is God out there somewhere?” Have you ever asked: “Does God see me?” “Does God hear me?” “Does God care about me?”

Yes. God cares about each of us. God sees us better than Santa Claus and hears us better than the wolf in Grandma’s clothes. In fact, as Moses discovered from the burning bush, God is always with us. Even so, we often do not see God in the midst of our lives. Sometimes we see the evidence of God’s care much later. Sometimes we struggle to see that evidence and never find it, but it is there.

As much as we might like for God to announce his presence from a burning bush, or even from a candle flame, God often chooses not to for reasons we may not understand. Yet God promises to be with us. In fact, he says just that to Moses in Exodus 3:12: “[God] said, “Certainly I will be with you.’”

There have been a multitude of writers, poets, artists, photographers, philosophers and regular Joe’s who have tried to capture God’s answer to Moses in a variety of forms. Perhaps one of the most famous attempts at depicting God with us is Mary Stevenson Zangare’s poem “Footprints in the Sand” in which she tells of dreaming about a walk on the beach. When she looked back at the footprints she noticed sometimes there were two sets and sometimes one. When she asked about the reasoning behind the single sets, sets through some of the worst times of her life, she is answered that those were times when God carried her. The poem is a beautiful reminder of God’s promise to be with us at all times.

As you read Exodus 3:1-4:22, try to remember a time in your life in which God called you to do something new and, perhaps, frightening. Then, download the Questions and Reflections and take some time to work through them before engaging in the Meditation Activities below.

 

Meditation Activites

DSCN1602

Find a quiet place, preferably in nature, and take ten to 20 minutes to contemplate what the above image means to you as it relates to the reading of Exodus 3:1-4:17, then choose as many of the following suggestions as you would like to express your thoughts and feelings outwardly.

  1. In your journal, write a free-flow of thoughts and descriptive images as they come to you regarding the picture and its relationship to God being with you.
  2. Using play dough, clay or some other medium create a 3-D sculpture that captures your overall feelings and thoughts of the picture and its relationship to God being with you.
  3. Tell a friend, or God, about your thoughts and feelings concerning the picture and its relationship to God being with you.
  4. Decide on your own creative way to express your feelings and thoughts regarding the picture and its relationship to God being with you.

***

For more non-fiction work, including Bible studies, check out my Non-Fiction page.

You can also purchase your eBook copy of Fear Not! Discovering God’s Promises for Our Lives for NookKindleKobo, and on Scribd or a paperback copy from Paperback edition also available on Amazon.com or in my Lulu.com store front at: Virginia’s Store Front.
New-Subscriber-thumbnailIf you haven’t already, sign up for my monthly newsletter to get sneak peeks (such as first chapters before they’re published) and special prices just for fans. Just enter your email address in the sidebar and click subscribe. Sign up today and download my thank you gift Behind the Scenes: The Malkin Stories.

Related Posts

  • 100
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    Tags: god, exodus, cares, meditation, virginia, ripple, study, christian, writer, bible
  • 100
    “It shall happen… according as he has promised….” Exodus 12:25 Believing God keeps his promises is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do. We’ve often had others break their promises and been guilty of breaking them ourselves. However, God shouldn’t be measured by human standards. Whether we believe…
    Tags: god, exodus, cares, meditation, virginia, ripple, study, christian, writer, bible
  • 99
    “Thus says Yaweh, ‘In this you shall know that I am Yaweh.’” Exodus 7:17 We have heard and read about the miracles God has performed both in the Bible and in modern times. Most of those miracles were obvious demonstrations of God’s power. However, the power of God comes in…
    Tags: god, exodus, cares, meditation, virginia, ripple, study, christian, writer, bible
  • 93
    “Don’t be afraid.” Exodus 14 13 Everyone at some point in their lives experiences something that scares them, something that seems impossible to overcome. For one it may be the diagnosis of an illness. For another it may be a looming mountain of debt. For yet another it is the…
    Tags: god, exodus, meditation, virginia, ripple, cares, bible, christian, writer, study
  • 85
    “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16 16 Whether it is in the face of a delighted child or the crash of thunder during a storm, God reveals himself to us. Sometimes he catches our attention in a way we cannot ignore, like when he…
    Tags: god, meditation, virginia, ripple, cares, study, christian, writer, bible

Everyday Miracles

January 26th, 2012

IMAG0245

Not my road, but a good example of what I’m talking about.

The country road I grew up on has exactly 3 tracks. Simple math will tell you you cannot have two vehicles meet on that road and have each stay in the tracks.

If the road were just flat,packed dirt with tiny ditches it would be a cake walk, but no. This road has hills a mountain goat would enjoy climbing, with deep ditches reminiscent of Ozark cliffs. Oh! And did I mention lots of loose gravel? I won’t even go into the white knuckle driving when it gets icy.

So what’s miraculous about this road? In the 30-something years my folks have lived on it there have been no head-on collisions and very few vehicles in any ditch.

You might think it’s because there’s very little traffic, but it’s been a teenager party time freeway since before we lived there. Houses have been cropping up more frequently, too, which means increased traffic.

Any way you look at it, I think that road is an everyday testament to God’s care. Luck only goes so far, but God is always watching, caring for our most basic needs whether we ask or not.

When have you noticed little everyday miracles?

***

GFront-Cover-25-percentod promises to be with us through everything,
encouraging us to trust him through every situation we encounter.

Individuals and groups alike will find themselves
discovering that every day is a new opportunity to see God’s touch on their lives as they journey through scripture to uncover that:

  • No Matter Who You Are…
  • No Matter How You Feel…
  • No Matter What People Do…
  • No Matter What Happens..
  • No Matter Where You Are…
  • No Matter How Little You Have…
  • No Matter What You’ve Done…
  • No Matter How Old You Are…

Trust God!
Paperback edition also available on Amazon.

Ebook version available for Kindle, InkteraNookKobo, and Scribd or…

buy the .pdf version here

 

Vol1Cover25percent

Get six Bible based, inspirational messages by Virginia Ripple from the blog One Servant’s Heart all in one .zip file.

Messages include:

  • Called to Forgive Called to Serve
  • New Beginnings
  • No Fear In Love
  • The Boneyard
  • The Dirty Little Penny
  • The Hardest Commandment

Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

 

Simply Prayer ebook

When we find ourselves stymied by what we think prayer should look like, it’s time to step back and think like a child. God loves each of us and wants to hear from us.

Prayer can be as complex as we want or as simple as we need, but sometimes we need a little help getting started. In this book you’ll discover the basics of:

  • What prayer is
  • Why we pray
  • How to pray
  • How to know your prayers are answered

From repetitions to labyrinths to dancing to journals, it is all Simply Prayer.

Ebook version available for NookKindleKobo, and Scribd or…

buy the .pdf version here

You can purchase this book at Amazon.com or in my CreateSpace store front.

Or Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

 

Fear NotWhen life seems impossible to cope with, God reaches out to remind us of his promises for our lives. Journey through scripture to meet God in new and unexpected ways as you discover what it means to “Fear Not!”

Anyone can use Fear Not to meet God in new and unexpected ways.  Each of the eight sessions begins with an introduction, then moves on to a scripture reading (included), questions to ponder, a meditation picture and lastly a list of possible hands-on projects you can do.

The eight sessions are:

  • Session 1 … God is always with us
  • Session 2 … God is in control
  • Session 3 … God keeps his promises
  • Session 4 … God keeps us safe
  • Session 5 … God provides for us
  • Session 6 … God reveals himself to us
  • Session 7 … God gives us new life
  • Session 8 … God sends a Helper to us

Ebook version available for NookKindleKobo, and Scribd or …

 buy the .pdf version here

Paperback edition also available on Amazon.com or in my Lulu.com store front at: Virginia’s Store Front.