Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I Am the Lord: Reminding Myself of Where I Have Been...and Where I Am Going!

[Exo 6:1-9 KJV] 1 Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. 2 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I [am] the LORD: 3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by [the name of] God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. 4 And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. 5 And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant. 6 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I [am] the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: 7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I [am] the LORD.

Today’s (November 2, 2014) sermon revolved around these verses. As I sat and listened to Bret preach, I thought of these verses with my own story mixed in. This is what it looked like:

“Now I will show you what I have done for you. I am the LORD: I told you in your tender years that you would serve Me. Throughout your life I have protected you, and kept you for myself, but you did not know it was My plan that I had laid out for you.

"I have seen the tears you have cried, for yourself and for others. I have heard the prayers and groanings you have lifted for others."

“I am the LORD, and I kept you safe when you should have died. I am the LORD, who brought you to Bible school in a miraculous way. I am the LORD, I sent you to Friend Ships. I am the LORD, who saved just for you a Man after My own heart. I am the LORD, I picked out a wedding time and date just for you, and went before you in your wedded life. I am the LORD, I gave you 3 daughters to brighten your day. I am the LORD, I brought you to Pennsylvania. I used these friends to help you in your time of need. I am the LORD, I gave you a job and Help and my Comfort (aka Ezra Nehemiah) just in the nick of time! I am the LORD, who sent you to the Land of Misery, and protected your husband when he should have died. I am the LORD, I gave you a 4-month Sabbath Rest when you needed it most. I am the LORD, I sent you to a peaceful setting in Ohio and gave you a friend to love on (Sara). I am the LORD, I gave your kids  land to play on, and someone to love on (Adelee).

“One day I will come to take you home with Me. I have a home waiting for you. I am the LORD.”

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I Hear a Voice...

Hi. My name is Rebekah, and on various occasions, I post on this...my blog.

A while back, I posted A Story I Never Told. It was good for me to get it off my chest. To let people see inside me and to get the word out that others are not alone.

Did you know that I still struggle? I still have really dark days where I just hate...myself...when I don't think I will ever get it right. Those days aren't an every day occurrence, but they do pop up more than I care to think about.

One such day, I was going to visit my friend (who by the way was one of the Top 50 for American Idol 2008, but never made it all the way), and I was listening to K-Love. I love listening to K-Love because my kids more often than not belt out these songs with AWESOME words that I wish I had pounded into my own brain when I was their age! A song came on by MercyMe called Greater.

Some phrases that stuck out to me (okay, smacked me in the face) were:

Every day I wrestle with the voices
That keep telling me I’m not right 

Every time I fall
There’ll be those who will call me
A mistake

When I heard these words, there was a kind of argument in my head. One voice kept saying that this song doesn't apply to me, because I don't know anyone who says this negativity to me. The other Voice said, "But you say it to and about yourself." 

Man!

I decided the Voice was right...and I listened to the rest of the song:

‘Cause I hear a voice and He calls me redeemed
When others say I’ll never be enough
And greater is the One living inside of me
Than he who is living in the world
In the world
In the world
And greater is the One living inside of me
Than he who is living in the world

There’ll be no condemnation here
You are holy, righteous and redeemed

There’ll be days I lose the battle
Grace says that it doesn’t matter
‘Cause the cross already won the war
He’s Greater
He’s Greater

I am learning to run freely
Understanding just how He sees me
And it makes me love Him more and more
He’s Greater
He’s Greater

Holy, righteous and redeemed!

Holy - Set apart!
Righteous - clean!
Redeemed - PAID FOR!

Dude. Someone (with a capital 'S') thought me worthy enough to PAY my RANSOM! 

I am clean! Able to stand before God...ONLY because Jesus paid my ransom.

Dude.

And you know what makes my heart smile even more? My kids are hearing this song, and belt it out in the van whenever it comes on! May my kiddos never have to deal with their own voices in their heads calling them mistakes and failures... May they be reminded that they are holy, righteous and redeemed!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Just Take a Look at What God Has Given Me! October, 2014

 Shalom, age 7

Sassy pants, Anna, age 5 

 Oh nothing, just hanging around

 Anna in her tree

Ruthie, Diva with a 'Tude! 


Papa's in trouble!!!! 

 Josh definitely loves his kiddos!

Ezra, almost 4 

Nine and a half years later, this is still the one I adore! 


 Ruthie-Bear, age 8

Just take a look at what God has given me!!!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Marriage - My Mind-Blowing Thoughts

Growing up, I felt I was close to my parents and sisters. I thought I knew all there was to know about them, and they knew everything about me. I was sure no one knew me better, and I knew them the best.

As time went on, I had many friends that I thought I knew…but have come to realize that I only knew what they would allow me to know. My best friend from age 14 ½ was Amy. We sent letters back and forth (total of eight days, 4 to get to her, and then back), and I was positive that I knew her better than anyone, and the same for her and me. We talked on the phone every Saturday night for at least an hour! It was a L.O.N.G. time before I realized that there might be a chance she could withhold anything from me. So na├»ve, eh?  My first roommate at Friend ships was Miriam. We lived together for a year, and it never crossed my mind that either of us withheld anything from each other…but we did.

Then God sent Josh into my life. From almost day one, the flood gates opened, and there was nothing that I hid from Josh. Every skeleton was introduced to Josh. If I could scare him away, it would have been then! We knew each others horror stories…and fell in love anyway! Amazingly, to me anyway, I find I am closer to Josh than any person on the planet. More than that, I find my parents and siblings – whom I thought I knew so well – are good friends, but not people with whom I share my every thought and process. Funny thing is, it is supposed to be that way!

In Ephesians, Paul mentions marriage as a great mystery, and likens the whole thing to our relationship with God. When I think of my relationship with God, I think of intimacy…God knows EVERYTHING about me, the small things, the big things, the hurts and joys, even before I can express them. God knew of my suicidal thoughts MONTHS before I was able to put them into words for Josh! To be so KNOW, and yet still loved, is incredibly overwhelming!


I am KNOWN…not just by God, but by my husband and I am loved by both as well. My mind is blown away by these thoughts!

By the way, Josh and I have been married 9.5 years this month! 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Catching up...

Last time I was able to post a blog-post, we were living in Millersburg, Ohio working at a Christian Camp and Retreat facility called Skyview Ranch. A lot has happened in the last year, that's for sure.

We were looking to move on from the Ranch. My sister and her husband had moved to a home near my parents, and I thought it would be a grand idea if God would move us back home. We started looking for jobs and applying where jobs seemed to suit Josh's skills and abilities. We needed a specific kind of reference for a job we had applied for, so I called our friend Jennifer.

She, of course was willing to help out, but then said, "I have a question for you."
 I said, "Okay..."
"How does a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom mobile home on 23 acres sound? With lots of wood..."
I cut her off and said, "Don't say another word...call Josh, I don't want to hear this and start dreaming!"

Jennifer called Josh. Long story short, her friends Stephen and Patty were going to be going to Germany as missionaries, and need someone to take care of their property and carry on their vision for the property. It fit our wants and desires for life...

We now live in Floyd County, VA!

God has been good to us. I can't wait to show you what all God has done for us.

FINALLY!

Well, I'm back! I haven't been able to sign in to blogspot in several months! I am back and God has been good to us! I can't wait to be able to share it with you!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Free Will, God's Sovereignty and What it has to do with My Marriage (Part 3)

Someone said, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."

From November 1st to early January, I was away from Josh. We emailed back and forth for all those months. During that time, Josh realized he loved me. That email was one of the happiest days of my life!

In August, Josh and two of our friends and I went to Alaska. I was to meet his parents. We spent two weeks canoeing, hiking, seeing the sites. At one point, Josh was riding alone with his Dad. Josh told his Dad that he would like his parents approval of me as a wife.

He got that approval the day he left. <--------- b="">This is very important, because if his parents had not given their approval...I would not be married to Josh Larson, nor would I have a Ruth, Shalom, Anna or Ezra.


We were engaged at the end of August.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I could go on and on and tell you how much God has done from the day we got engaged to this very day...but I won't. Okay, I will, if you ask nicely.

The point of this whole 3 part blog - which I have never done before - is a response to the aforementioned blog. My response...no, Josh and I aren't soulmates. If Josh's parents had not given their approval, I would not be married to him today...a VERY scary thought for me.

Josh is my rock. I draw strength from his very presence. He is the reason we have such great kids...his insight into their character is awesome, and helps me know what to do with them, what characteristics to hone, and what attitudes are unsavory and need changed. He is my comfort, and my encouragement. His love is truly the wind beneath my wings.

A year ago on August 10th, I almost lost Josh. He was in a car accident...and, but for the Grace of God, he would be dead. I was given a taste of what life could have been like. Josh changed after that accident, and suddenly I - Rebekah Larson - had to be the strong one - not my strong suit.

While I would not say that God had only me and Josh set aside for each other, in hopes that some how we would find each other (the odds were completely against us, you know, Alaska and Ohio are 3,957 miles apart, you know), I will say...God knew we would get married, and He has huge plans for us (none Jer. 29:11 - of course. =P )! God took care of us, completely, in ways we could never have thought or imagined. (Ephesians 3:20)

Winter 2010/2011 - Josh was going thru a hard time. During that time, he often found himself humming this song, and thinking of me...